Advances on erythrocyte-mimicking nanovehicles to overcome barriers in biological microenvironments
Flávia Castro, Cláudia Martins, Maria José Silveira, Rui Pedro Moura, Catarina Leite Pereira, Bruno Sarmento*


Although nanocarriers offer many advantages as drug delivery systems, their poor stability in circulation, premature drug release and nonspecific uptake in non-target organs have prompted biomimetic approaches using natural cell membranes to camouflage nanovehicles. Among them, erythrocytes, representing the most abundant blood circulating cells, have been extensively investigated for biomimetic coating on artificial nanocarriers due to their upgraded biocompatibility, biodegradability, non-immunogenicity and long-term blood circulation. Due to the cell surface mimetic properties combined with customized core material, erythrocyte-mimicking nanovehicles (EM-NVs) have a wide variety of applications, including drug delivery, imaging, phototherapy, immunomodulation, sensing and detection, that foresee a huge potential for therapeutic and diagnostic applications in several diseases. In this review, we summarize the recent advances in the biomedical applications of EM-NVs in cancer, infection, heart-, autoimmune- and CNS-related disorders and discuss the major challenges and opportunities in this research area.


Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews