Unraveling polymeric nanoparticles cell uptake pathways: Two decades working to understand nanoparticles journey to improve gene therapy

C. Fornaguera, C. Castells-Sala, S. Borrós

Research output: Book chapterChapterpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Polymeric nanoparticles have aroused an increasing interest in the last decades as novel advanced delivery systems to improve the treatment of many diseases. Hard work has been performed worldwide designing and developing polymeric nanoparticles using different building blocks, which target specific cell types, trying to avoid bioaccumulation and degradation pathways. The main handicap of the design is to understand the final fate and the journey that the nanoparticle will follow, which is intimately ligated with the chemical and physical properties of the nanoparticles themselves and specific factors of the targeted cells. Although the huge number of published scientific articles regarding polymeric nanoparticles for biomedical applications, their use in clinics is still limited. This fact could be explained by the limited data reporting the interaction of the huge diversity of polymeric nanoparticles with cells. This knowledge is essential to understand nanoparticle uptake and trafficking inside cells to the subcellular target structure. In this chapter, we aim to contribute to this field of knowledge by: (1) summarizing the polymeric nanoparticles properties and cellular factors that influence nanoparticle endocytosis and (2) reviewing the endocytic pathways classified as a function of nanoparticle size and as a function of the receptor playing a role. The revision of previously reported endocytic pathways for particular polymeric nanoparticles could facilitate scientist involved in this field to easily delineate efficient delivery systems based on polymeric nanoparticles.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
ISSN (Print)0065-2598
ISSN (Electronic)2214-8019


  • Cell transfection
  • Cellular trafficking
  • Cellular uptake
  • Endocytosis
  • Exocytosis
  • Polymeric nanoparticles


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