Protein-lipid nanohybrids as emerging platforms for drug and gene delivery: Challenges and outcomes

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Nanoparticulate drug delivery systems have been long used to deliver a vast range of drugs and bioactives owing to their ability to demonstrate novel physical, chemical, and/or biological properties. An exponential growth has spurred in research and development of these nanocarriers which led to the evolution of a great number of diverse nanosystems including liposomes, nanoemulsions, solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs), micelles, dendrimers, polymeric nanoparticles (NPs), metallic NPs, and carbon nanotubes. Among them, lipid-based nanocarriers have made the largest progress whether commercially or under development. Despite this progress, these lipid-based nanocarriers suffer from several limitations that led to the development of many protein-coated lipid nanocarriers. To less extent, protein-based nanocarriers suffer from limitations that led to the fabrication of some lipid bilayer enveloping protein nanocarriers. This review discusses in-depth some limitations associated with the lipid-based or protein-based nanocarriers and the fruitful outcomes brought by protein-lipid hybridization. Also discussed are the various hybridization techniques utilized to formulate these protein-lipid nanohybrids and the mechanisms involved in the drug loading process.

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