Adaptation of targeted nanocarriers to changing requirements in antimalarial drug delivery

Joana Marques, Juan José Valle-Delgado, Patricia Urbán, Elisabet Baró, Rafel Prohens, Alfredo Mayor, Pau Cisteró, Michael Delves, Robert E. Sinden, Christian Grandfils, José L. de Paz, José A. García-Salcedo, Xavier Fernàndez-Busquets

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38 Citations (Scopus)
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The adaptation of existing antimalarial nanocarriers to new Plasmodium stages, drugs, targeting molecules, or encapsulating structures is a strategy that can provide new nanotechnology-based, cost-efficient therapies against malaria. We have explored the modification of different liposome prototypes that had been developed in our group for the targeted delivery of antimalarial drugs to Plasmodium-infected red blood cells (pRBCs). These new models include: (i) immunoliposome-mediated release of new lipid-based antimalarials; (ii) liposomes targeted to pRBCs with covalently linked heparin to reduce anticoagulation risks; (iii) adaptation of heparin to pRBC targeting of chitosan nanoparticles; (iv) use of heparin for the targeting of Plasmodium stages in the mosquito vector; and (v) use of the non-anticoagulant glycosaminoglycan chondroitin 4-sulfate as a heparin surrogate for pRBC targeting. The results presented indicate that the tuning of existing nanovessels to new malaria-related targets is a valid low-cost alternative to the de novo development of targeted nanosystems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-525
Number of pages11
JournalNanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017


  • Glycosaminoglycans
  • Malaria
  • Nanomedicine
  • Plasmodium
  • Targeted drug delivery


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