• 1 Department of Pharmacy, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Bahawalpur, Pakistan.
  • 2 Department of Pharmacy, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Bahawalpur, Pakistan
  • 3 Departments of Mechanical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Seri Iskandar, Malaysia
  • 4 Department of Mechanical Engineering, COMSATS University Islamabad, Sahiwal Campus, Sahiwal, Pakistan
AAPS PharmSciTech, 2020 Nov 22;22(1):3.
PMID: 33221968 DOI: 10.1208/s12249-020-01873-z


Targeting the small intestine employing nanotechnology has proved to be a more effective way for site-specific drug delivery. The drug targeting to the small intestine can be achieved via nanoparticles for its optimum bioavailability within the systemic circulation. The small intestine is a remarkable candidate for localized drug delivery. The intestine has its unique properties. It has a less harsh environment than the stomach, provides comparatively more retention time, and possesses a greater surface area than other parts of the gastrointestinal tract. This review focuses on elaborating the intestinal barriers and approaches to overcome these barriers for internalizing nanoparticles and adopting different cellular trafficking pathways. We have discussed various factors that contribute to nanocarriers' cellular uptake, including their surface chemistry, surface morphology, and functionalization of nanoparticles. Furthermore, the fate of nanoparticles after their uptake at cellular and subcellular levels is also briefly explained. Finally, we have delineated the strategies that are adopted to determine the cytotoxicity of nanoparticles.

* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.