Emerging innate biological properties of nano-drug delivery systems: A focus on PAMAM dendrimers and their clinical potential
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Drug delivery systems or vectors are usually needed to improve the bioavailability and effectiveness of a drug through improving its pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics at an organ, tissue or cellular level. However, emerging technologies with sensitive readouts as well as a greater understanding of physiological/biological systems have revealed that polymeric drug delivery systems are not biologically inert but can have innate or intrinsic biological actions. In this article, we review the emerging multiple innate biological/toxicological properties of naked polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimer delivery systems in the absence of any drug cargo and discuss their correlation with the defined physicochemical properties of PAMAMs in terms of molecular size (generation), architecture, surface charge and chemistry. Further, we assess whether any of the reported intrinsic biological actions of PAMAMs such as their antimicrobial activity or their ability to sequester glucose and modulate key protein interactions or cell signaling pathways, can be exploited clinically such as in the treatment of diabetes and its complications.