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Insight into nanoparticle cellular uptake and intracellular targeting.


Collaborative efforts from the fields of biology, materials science, and engineering are leading to exciting progress in the development of nanomedicines. Since the targets of many therapeutic agents are localized in subcellular compartments, modulation of nanoparticle-cell interactions for efficient cellular uptake through the plasma membrane and the development of nanomedicines for precise delivery to subcellular compartments remain formidable challenges. Cellular internalization routes determine the post-internalization fate and intracellular localization of nanoparticles. This review highlights the cellular uptake routes most relevant to the field of non-targeted nanomedicine and presents an account of ligand-targeted nanoparticles for receptor-mediated cellular internalization as a strategy for modulating the cellular uptake of nanoparticles. Ligand-targeted nanoparticles have been the main impetus behind the progress of nanomedicines towards the clinic. This strategy has already resulted in remarkable progress towards effective oral delivery of nanomedicines that can overcome the intestinal epithelial barrier. A detailed overview of the recent developments in subcellular targeting as a novel platform for next-generation organelle-specific nanomedicines is also provided. Each section of the review includes prospects, potential, and concrete expectations from the field of targeted nanomedicines and strategies to meet those expectations.