Drug delivery nanosystems targeted to hepatic ischemia and reperfusion injury

Margarida Ferreira-Silva, Catarina Faria-Silva, Pedro Viana Baptista, Eduarda Fernandes, Alexandra Ramos Fernandes, Maria Luísa Corvo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract: Hepatic ischemia and reperfusion injury (IRI) is an acute inflammatory process that results from surgical interventions, such as liver resection surgery or transplantation, or hemorrhagic shock. This pathology has become a severe clinical issue, due to the increasing incidence of hepatic cancer and the high number of liver transplants. So far, an effective treatment has not been implemented in the clinic. Despite its importance, hepatic IRI has not attracted much interest as an inflammatory disease, and only a few reviews addressed it from a therapeutic perspective with drug delivery nanosystems. In the last decades, drug delivery nanosystems have proved to be a major asset in therapy because of their ability to optimize drug delivery, either by passive or active targeting. Passive targeting is achieved through the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect, a main feature in inflammation that allows the accumulation of the nanocarriers in inflammation sites, enabling a higher efficacy of treatment than conventional therapies. These systems also can be actively targeted to specific compounds, such as inflammatory markers and overexpressed receptors in immune system intermediaries, allowing an even more specialized therapy that have already showed encouraging results. In this manuscript, we review drug delivery nanosystems designed for hepatic IRI treatment, addressing their current state in clinical trials, discussing the main hurdles that hinder their successful translation to the market and providing some suggestions that could potentially advance their clinical translation. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-410
Number of pages14
JournalDrug delivery and translational research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • Anti-inflammatory therapy
  • Drug delivery nanosystems
  • Inflammation
  • Ischemia and reperfusion injury
  • Liver transplant


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