Natural and synthetic micelles for the delivery of small molecule drugs, imaging agents and nucleic acids

Anwarul Azim Akib, Ragib Shakil, Md. Mahamudul Hasan Rumon, Chanchal Kumar Roy, Ezharul Hoque Chowdhury, Al-Nakib Chowdhury

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The poor solubility, lack of targetability, quick renal clearance, and degradability of many therapeutic and imaging agents strongly limit their applications inside the human body. Amphiphilic copolymers having self-assembling properties can form core-shell structures called micelles, a promising nanocarrier for hydrophobic drugs, plasmid DNA, oligonucleotides, small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), and imaging agents. Fabrication of micelles loaded with different pharmaceutical agents provides numerous advantages, including therapeutic efficacy, diagnostic sensitivity, and controlled release to the desired tissues. Moreover, their smaller particle size (10-100 nm) and modified surfaces with different functional groups (such as ligands) help them to accumulate easily in the target location, enhancing cellular uptake and reducing unwanted side effects. Furthermore, the release of the encapsulated agents may also be triggered from stimuli-sensitive micelles under different physiological conditions or by an external stimulus. In this review article, we discuss the recent advancements in formulating and targeting of different natural and synthetic micelles, including block copolymer micelles, cationic micelles, and dendrimers-, polysaccharide-and protein-based micelles for the delivery of different therapeutic and diagnostic agents. Finally, their applications, outcomes, and future perspectives have been summarized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1389-1405
Number of pages17
JournalCurrent Pharmaceutical Design
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


  • active targeting
  • drug delivery
  • gene delivery
  • imaging agent
  • mixed micelle
  • Polymer micelle
  • siRNA

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