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Nanosystems: A Powerful Tool for Delivery of Bioactive Natural Products

Call for Papers

Natural compounds or natural products are complex chemical molecules found in plants, animals, and minerals, which are the most successful source of potential drug leads. Some natural compounds have biological activities that provide therapeutic benefits in the treatment of a wide range of human diseases. However, the major challenges of using natural products are their low bioavailability and, in some cases, stability problems. One of the main applications of nanotechnology is nanoencapsulation of bioactive compounds for biological purposes. During the nanoencapsulation process, besides bioactive protection, their bioavailability is also improved due to the increase in surface-to-volume ratio by reducing the particle size to the nano-range. Moreover, the ability to modify the activity of drugs, by delaying and controlling the drug release, can lead to a better biological performance.

Nanoparticles are defined as particles ranging in size from one to several hundred nanometers that can load drugs for efficient delivery. The drugs or active compounds can be either integrated into the core or matrix or attached to the surface of nanoparticles that have a high surface-to-volume ratio. Some of the most common types of nanoparticles used for drug delivery are polymer nanoparticles (PNPs), solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs), liposomes, micelles, dendrimers, and nanocrystals.

PNPs have been the most tested in combination with natural products. There are two types of polymeric nanoparticles: nanocapsules and nanospheres. Liposomes are spherical vesicles having at least one lipid bilayer, being able to entrap both hydrophilic and hydrophobic compounds. SLNs contain a solid hydrophobic core stabilized by an aqueous emulsifier(s) solution, which makes them a good choice for hydrophobic drug delivery. They have higher stability than liposomes and, in some cases, a lower toxicity profile than polymeric nanoparticles.

The use of nanotechnology with natural products is a rapidly evolving field. The incorporation of natural compounds into nanoparticles may increase their bioavailability, targeting, and controlled-release properties. Thus, nanotechnology will bring about multiple advantages to the delivery of natural compounds, for example, in the treatment of cancer and other chronic diseases.

We invite authors to contribute with original research articles and review articles that will illustrate and stimulate the continuing effort in producing nanoparticles to improve natural products delivery.

Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Natural product-based nanomedicine: recent advances and opportunities
  • Challenges and solutions for the delivery of natural products
  • Impact of nanotechnology on the delivery of natural products for wound treatment
  • Potential application of nanotechnology on the delivery of natural products for cancer treatment
  • Nanosystems for delivery of bioactive natural products intended to treat other chronic diseases

Authors can submit their manuscripts through the Manuscript Tracking System at

Submission DeadlineFriday, 29 June 2018
Publication DateNovember 2018

Papers are published upon acceptance, regardless of the Special Issue publication date.

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