Safe and effective delivery of therapeutics at the target site is the key to successful therapy. Nanocarriers can offer significant advantages over conventional dosage forms. Over the decades, nanoparticles have been extensively used to increase bioavailability, improve solubility and stability, reduce toxicities, and facilitate the controlled release of therapeutics. Further, nanoparticles have often been surface-functionalized with a variety of ligands to enhance circulation half-life and increase target-specificity. Although nanotechnology has shown significant therapeutic benefits for multiple biomedical applications, limited nanoparticle-based formulations have progressed to clinical trials, and only a few have reached the pharmaceutical market. This editorial is an introduction to the special issue entitled Surface-Functionalized Nanoparticles as Drug Carriers. We outline the scope of the special issue, summarize the results and conclusions of the nine articles published in this issue, and provide perspective on the application of surface-functionalized nanoparticles in the drug delivery field.
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