Assessing the Benefits of Drug Delivery by Nanocarriers: A Partico/Pharmacokinetic Framework

Ronald A. Siegel, Ameya R. Kirtane, Jayanth Panyam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objective: An in vivo kinetic framework is introduced to analyze and predict the quantitative advantage of using nanocarriers to deliver drugs, especially anticancer agents, compared to administering the same drugs in their free form. Methods: This framework recognizes three levels of kinetics. First is the particokinetics associated with deposition of nanocarriers into tissues associated with drug effect and toxicity, their residence inside those tissues, and elimination of the nanocarriers from the body. Second is the release pattern in time of free drug from the nanocarriers. Third is the pharmacokinetics of free drug, as it relates to deposition and elimination processes in the target and toxicity associated tissues, and total body clearance. A figure of merit, the drug targeting index (DTI), is used to quantitate the benefit of nanocarrier-based drug delivery by considering the effects of preferential deposition of nanoparticles into target tissues and relative avoidance of tissues associated with drug toxicity, compared to drug that is administered in its free form. Results: General methods are derived for calculating DTI when appropriate particokinetic, pharmacokinetic, and drug release rate information is available, and it is shown that relatively simple algebraic forms result when some common assumptions are made. Conclusion: This approach may find use in developing and selecting nanocarrier formulations, either for populations or for individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7762087
Pages (from-to)2176-2185
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received July 14, 2016; revised October 13, 2016; accepted November 12, 2016. Date of publication November 24, 2016; date of current version August 18, 2017. The work of A. R. Kirtane was supported by the a Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship from the University of Minnesota. Asterisk indicates corresponding author.

Publisher Copyright:
© 1964-2012 IEEE.


  • Modeling
  • nanoparticles
  • targeted drug delivery


Dive into the research topics of 'Assessing the Benefits of Drug Delivery by Nanocarriers: A Partico/Pharmacokinetic Framework'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this