Journal article Open Access

Calcium Phosphate-Based Nanosystems for Advanced Targeted Nanomedicine

Lorenzo Degli Esposti; Francesca Carella; Alessio Adamiano; Anna Tampieri; Michele Iafisco

Synthetic calcium phosphates (CaPs) are the most widely accepted bioceramics for the repair and reconstruction of bone tissue defects. The recent advancements in materials science have prompted a rapid progress in the preparation of CaPs with nanometric dimensions, tailored surface characteristics, and colloidal stability opening new perspectives in their use for applications not strictly related to bone. In particular, the employment of CaPs nanoparticles as carriers of therapeutic and imaging agents has recently raised great interest in nanomedicine. CaPs nanoparticles, as well as other kinds of nanoparticles, can be engineered to specifically target the site of the disease (cells or organs), thus minimizing their dispersion in the body and undesired organism-nanoparticles interactions. The most promising and efficient approach to improve their specificity is the “active targeting”, where nanoparticles are conjugated with a targeting moiety able to recognize and bind with high efficacy and selectivity to receptors that are highly expressed only in the therapeutic site. The aim of this review is to give an overview on advanced targeted nanomedicine with a focus on the most recent reports on CaP nanoparticles-based systems specifically designed for the active targeting. The distinctive characteristics of CaP nanoparticles with respect to the other kinds of nanomaterials used in nanomedicine are also discussed.

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