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Introduction: Immunosuppression is the mainstay therapy in organ transplantation and autoimmune diseases. The effective clinical application of immunosuppressive agents has suffered from the emergence of systemic immunosuppression and/or individual drug side effects. Nanotechnology approaches may be used to modify the mentioned shortcomings by enhancing the delivery of immunosuppressants to target cells of the immune system, thus reducing the required dose for function, and/or reducing drug distribution to non-target tissues.

Areas covered: We provide an overview on the development of nanotechnology products for the most commonly used immunosuppressive agents. At first, the rationale for the use of nanoparticles as means for immunosuppressive therapy is discussed. This is followed by a review of major accomplishments in this area, particularly in preclinical in vivo studies.

Expert opinion: The results of research conducted in this area to date, points to a great promise for nano-medicine in increasing the bioavailability, reducing the toxicity, and/or potentiating the activity of immunosuppressive agents. It is, therefore, safe to speculate the more rapid translation of nanotechnologyin clinical immunosuppressive therapy in the near future providing to the overcoming of hurdles associated with nano-drug delivery such as high cost, inadequate reproducibility and potential safety concerns of the delivery systems themselves.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery, volume 15, issue 4, in 2017, available online at DOI: 10.1080/17425247.2018.1420053. It may differ slightly from the final version of record.


Taylor & Francis



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