The effect of particle shape on cellular interaction and drug delivery applications of micro- and nanoparticles
Encapsulation of therapeutic agents in nanoparticles offers several benefits including improved bioavailability, site specific delivery, reduced toxicity and in vivo stability of proteins and nucleotides over conventional delivery options. These benefits are consequence of distinct in vivo pharmacokinetic and biodistribution profile of nanoparticles, which is dictated by the complex interplay of size, surface charge and surface hydrophobicity. Recently, particle shape has been identified as a new physical parameter which has exerted tremendous impact on cellular uptake and biodistribution, thereby in vivo performance of nanoparticles. Improved therapeutic efficacy of anticancer agents using non-spherical particles is the recent development in the field. Additionally, immunological response of nanoparticles was also altered when antigens were loaded in non-spherical nanovehicles. The apparent impact of particle shape inspired the new research in the field of drug delivery. The present review therefore details the research in this field. The review focuses on methods of fabrication of particles of non-spherical geometries and impact of particle shape on cellular uptake, biodistribution, tumor targeting and production of immunological responses.