Nanomedicine for respiratory diseases

Hulda Swai*, Boitumelo Semete, Lonji Kalombo, Paul Kiprono Chelule, Kevin Kisich, Bob Sievers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Treatment of respiratory diseases and infections has proved to be a challenging task, with the incidence of these ailments increasing worldwide. Nanotechnologybased drug and gene delivery systems offer a possible solution to some of the shortfalls of the current treatment regimen. Nanobased drug delivery systems have revolutionised the field of pharmacotherapy by presenting the ability to alter the pharmacokinetics of the conventional drugs to extend the drug retention time, reduce the toxicity and increase the half-life of the drugs. Delivery of exogenous genes to the airway epithelium in vivo has been limited by several physiological barriers, resulting in the low success rate of these systems. With the advent of nanotechnology, DNA compacted with cationic polymers to produce nanoparticles has exhibited a significant increase in the transfection efficiencies. With nanoparticulate drug/gene delivery systems, specific cells can be targeted by functionalising the polymeric nanoparticles with ligands that allow the particles to dock at a specific site of the cell. In addition, polymeric systems allow for the cargo to be released in a controlled and stimuli-responsive manner. The advantages that nanoparticulate delivery systems present in the treatment of respiratory diseases and infections are summarised in this review.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-263
Number of pages9
JournalWiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


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