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Inorganic nanoparticles, such as gold, silver, quantum dots and magnetic nanoparticles, offer a promising way to develop multifunctional nanoparticles for biomedical applications. Such nanoparticles have the potential to combine in a single, stable construct various functionalities, simultaneously providing imaging abilities, thermal therapies and the ability to deliver drugs in a targeted fashion. An approach for providing drug loading abilities to these inorganic nanoparticles consists in the modification of their surface with a coating of cyclodextrins, and thereby endowing the nanoparticles with the potential of functioning as drug nanocarriers. This review presents the advances carried out in the preparation of cyclodextrin-contained gold, silver, quantum dot and magnetic nanoparticles as well as their applications as drug nanocarriers. The nanoparticle surface can be modified incorporating cyclodextrin moieties, (i) in situ during the synthesis of the nanoparticles, either using the cyclodextrin as reducing agent or as stabilizer; or (ii) in a post-synthetic stage. The cyclodextrin coating contributes to provide biocompatibility to the nanoparticles and to reduce their cytotoxicity. Cyclodextrin-modified nanoparticles display a multivalent presentation of quasi-hydrophobic cavities that enables, not only drug loading in a non-covalent manner, but also the non-covalent assembly of targeting motifs and optical probes. This paper also provides an overview of some of the reported applications including the in vitro studies and, to a lesser extent, in vivo studies on the drug-loaded nanoparticles behavior.