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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2016, Article ID 5762431, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/5762431
Review Article

Recent Progress on Nanostructures for Drug Delivery Applications

1National Engineering Research Center of Industry Crystallization Technology, School of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China
2Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemical Science and Engineering, Tianjin 300072, China
3College of Food Science and Technology, Shanghai Ocean University, Shanghai 201306, China

Received 31 May 2016; Accepted 30 August 2016

Academic Editor: Christian Brosseau

Copyright © 2016 Haijiao Lu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

With the rapid development of nanotechnology, the convergence of nanostructures and drug delivery has become a research hotspot in recent years. Due to their unique and superior properties, various nanostructures, especially those fabricated from self-assembly, are able to significantly increase the solubility of poorly soluble drugs, reduce cytotoxicity toward normal tissues, and improve therapeutic efficacy. Nanostructures have been successfully applied in the delivery of diverse drugs, such as small molecules, peptides, proteins, and nucleic acids. In this paper, the driving forces for the self-assembly of nanostructures are introduced. The strategies of drug delivery by nanostructures are briefly discussed. Furthermore, the emphasis is put on a variety of nanostructures fabricated from various building materials, mainly liposomes, polymers, ceramics, metal, peptides, nucleic acids, and even drugs themselves.