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Application of polymeric nanoparticles in immunotherapy

Craparo, Emanuela Fabiola; Bondì, Maria Luisa

Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology: December 2012 - Volume 12 - Issue 6 - p 658–664
doi: 10.1097/ACI.0b013e3283588c57
IMMUNOTHERAPY AND NEW TREATMENTS: Edited by Giovanni Passalacqua and Robert Bush

Purpose of review The purpose of the present review is to underline the importance of nanoparticulate carriers, such as polymeric nanoparticles, in the future development of safe and effective formulation in the field of immunotherapy against infectious diseases and cancer.

Recent findings Polymeric nanoparticles can modulate the immune response, that is, by targeting antigens to dendritic cells that possess a crucial role in initiating immune responses, and might be potentially useful in immunotherapy.

Summary In the last decades, significant progress in research and clinics has been made to offer possible innovative therapeutics for the management of infectious diseases and cancer. Polymeric nanoparticles are particularly adept at facilitating immunotherapeutic approaches because they can be engineered to have different physical properties, encapsulated agents, and surface ligands. Moreover, these systems are administrable for all routes, are capable of being actively taken up by dendritic cells and have shown promising potential in systemic and mucosal immunotherapy. Here, some recent findings on these systems, in their potential applications for infectious and cancer immunotherapy, are reported.

aLab of Biocompatible Polymers, Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Molecolari e Biomolecolari (STEMBIO), Università di Palermo

bIstituto per lo Studio dei Materiali Nanostrutturati U.O.S. di Palermo-Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Palermo, Italy

Correspondence to Dr Maria Luisa Bondì, Istituto per lo Studio dei Materiali Nanostrutturati U.O.S. di Palermo, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Via Ugo la Malfa 153, 90146 Palermo, Italy. Tel: +39 091 680 9367; fax: +39 091 680 9247; e-mail:

Copyright © 2012 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.