For citation purposes: Cordon CS, Piva MBR, Melo CM, Pinhal MAS, Suarez ER. Nanoparticles as platforms of molecular delivery in diagnosis and therapy. OA Cancer 2013 Dec 01;1(2):15.


Novel Therapies

Nanoparticles as platforms of molecular delivery in diagnosis and therapy

CS Cordon, MBR Piva, CM Melo, MAS Pinhal, ER Suarez

Authors affiliations

(1) Department of Biochemistry, Faculdade de Medicina do ABC, Santo André, SP, Brazil

(2) Department of Biochemistry, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil

* Corresponding author Email:



Nanoparticles are polymeric colloidal systems ranging from 10 to 1000 nm, which are able to deliver compounds to the cells. Their size, shape and surface determine the activity of the molecules incorporated. Two main groups of nanoparticles are applied as drug delivery systems: the polymeric nanoparticles, such as liposomes, dendrimers and micelles, and the inorganic particles, including gold, iron oxide, silica and graphene. The aim of this review is to discuss nanoparticles as platforms of molecular delivery in diagnosis and therapy.


Dendrimers and liposomes incorporate hydrophobic and hydrophilic agents, but present low biodegradation and leaking of the agents, respectively. Micelles are suitable for hydrophobic molecules, but may use toxic materials. Superparamagnetic iron oxides are efficient agents in magnetic resonance and easily biodegradable; however, at high doses this particle promotes intense oxidative stress. Gold particles are very useful as sensor particles, but they are immunogenic. Silica particles are easy to synthesise and functionalise; however, very less information about their biodegradation is available. The graphene structures, such as carbon nanotubes, have many interesting properties; however, they are very toxic and accumulative.


Nanoparticles are very promising as new diagnosis and pharmacotherapy tools. However, the disadvantages associated with them must be overcome in order to find completely safe and efficient systems.

Licensee OA Publishing London 2013. Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY)