Nanoparticles can be used to deliver drugs to specific cells of the body. Drug delivery focuses on maximizing bioavailability both at specific places in the body and over a period of time. Drug delivery systems, lipid or polymer-based nanoparticles, can be designed to improve the pharmacological and therapeutic properties of drugs.
When designed to avoid the body’s defense mechanisms, nanoparticles have beneficial properties that can be used to improve drug delivery. Where larger particles have been cleared from the body, cells take up these nanoparticles because of their size. Complex drug delivery mechanisms are being developed, including the ability to get drugs through cell membranes and into cell cytoplasm. One of the major impacts of nanotechnology and nanoscience will be in leading development of completely new drugs with more useful behaviour and less side effects.