Nano- and Microtubes for Drugs
Department of Pharmaceutics, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Brno
In the recent 30 years, numerous nano- and microscale systems have been developed in order to find efficient carrier systems for drugs, antigens and genes which would facilitate their transport into specific tissues, cell populations and intracellular compartments. Tubular structures with submicroscopic dimensions seem to be an interesting alternative to spherical particles (e.g. liposomes, nano- and microparticles) already used for the above purposes. The structures are expected to offer new possibilities for diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Thanks to their large inner space, inner and outer surfaces and open ends, they might carry drug molecules, nucleic acids or even whole antigens and thus act as nonviral vectors for gene therapy or long-circulating vaccines. The present paper brings an overview of most important tubular materials. Carbon, peptide, lipid and template-synthesized nano- and microtubes as well as naturally occurring tubular minerals, their preparation and potential biomedical and biotechnological applications are reviewed.
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