Peptide- and aptamer-functionalized nanovectors for targeted delivery of therapeutics

Todd O. Pangburn, Matthew A. Petersen, Brett Waybrant, Maroof M. Adil, Efrosini Kokkoli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Targeted delivery of therapeutics is an area of vigorous research, and peptide- and aptamer-functionalized nanovectors are a promising class of targeted delivery vehicles. Both peptide- and aptamer-targeting ligands can be readily designed to bind a target selectively with high affinity, and more importantly are molecules accessible by chemical synthesis and relatively compact compared with antibodies and full proteins. The multitude of peptide ligands that have been used for targeted delivery are covered in this review, with discussion of binding selectivity and targeting performance for these peptide sequences where possible. Aptamers are RNA or DNA strands evolutionarily engineered to specifically bind a chosen target. Although use of aptamers in targeted delivery is a relatively new avenue of research, the current state of the field is covered and promises of future advances in this area are highlighted. Liposomes, the classic drug delivery vector, and polymeric nanovectors functionalized with peptide or aptamer binding ligands will be discussed in this review, with the exclusion of other drug delivery vehicles. Targeted delivery of therapeutics, from DNA to classic small molecule drugs to protein therapeutics, by these targeted nanovectors is reviewed with coverage of both in vitro and in vivo deliveries. This is an exciting and dynamic area of research and this review seeks to discuss its broad scope.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number740051
JournalJournal of biomechanical engineering
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2009


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