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Nanoparticles to Target and Treat Macrophages: The Ockham’s Concept?

Department of Biomedicine, School of Medicine, University of Barcelona, Casanova 143, 08036 Barcelona, Spain
Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics Service, Hospital Clínic Universitari, IDIBAPS, CIBERehd, 08036 Barcelona, Spain
Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Yogita Patil-Sen and Mohamed Elsawy
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(9), 1340;
Received: 15 July 2021 / Revised: 15 August 2021 / Accepted: 19 August 2021 / Published: 26 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials: Immunological Perspective)
Nanoparticles are nanomaterials with three external nanoscale dimensions and an average size ranging from 1 to 1000 nm. Nanoparticles have gained notoriety in technological advances due to their tunable physical, chemical, and biological characteristics. However, the administration of functionalized nanoparticles to living beings is still challenging due to the rapid detection and blood and tissue clearance by the mononuclear phagocytic system. The major exponent of this system is the macrophage. Regardless the nanomaterial composition, macrophages can detect and incorporate foreign bodies by phagocytosis. Therefore, the simplest explanation is that any injected nanoparticle will be probably taken up by macrophages. This explains, in part, the natural accumulation of most nanoparticles in the spleen, lymph nodes, and liver (the main organs of the mononuclear phagocytic system). For this reason, recent investigations are devoted to design nanoparticles for specific macrophage targeting in diseased tissues. The aim of this review is to describe current strategies for the design of nanoparticles to target macrophages and to modulate their immunological function involved in different diseases with special emphasis on chronic inflammation, tissue regeneration, and cancer. View Full-Text
Keywords: macrophages; nanoparticles; inflammation; cancer; regeneration macrophages; nanoparticles; inflammation; cancer; regeneration
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MDPI and ACS Style

Medrano-Bosch, M.; Moreno-Lanceta, A.; Melgar-Lesmes, P. Nanoparticles to Target and Treat Macrophages: The Ockham’s Concept? Pharmaceutics 2021, 13, 1340.

AMA Style

Medrano-Bosch M, Moreno-Lanceta A, Melgar-Lesmes P. Nanoparticles to Target and Treat Macrophages: The Ockham’s Concept? Pharmaceutics. 2021; 13(9):1340.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Medrano-Bosch, Mireia, Alazne Moreno-Lanceta, and Pedro Melgar-Lesmes. 2021. "Nanoparticles to Target and Treat Macrophages: The Ockham’s Concept?" Pharmaceutics 13, no. 9: 1340.

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