|Title of host publication||Encyclopedia of Molecular Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine|
|Editors||Robert A Meyers|
|Number of pages||52|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 2017|
Cholesterol is an essential and natural component of animal cells. The human body contains approximately 140g of cholesterol, which is found mainly in cellular membranes. Since its first recognition during the late eighteenth century, cholesterol has evolved from an alcohol-soluble side fraction of human gallstones into a compound with an extraordinary impact on nanobiotechnology. Such remarkable development is based on two key facts: (i) the intrinsic chemical and physical properties of the steroid skeleton; and (ii) the advent of modern polymerization techniques which enable the design of sophisticated polymeric architectures with significant impact on nanomedicine. The contributions made by cholesterol in the fields of liposomal drug delivery, biosensing and cell mimicry will be discussed in this chapter, with emphasis placed on the design and strategic access to cholesterol-containing polymer structures.