Capture of stealth nanoparticles by the body's defences

S. M. Moghimi, A. C. Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

142 Scopus citations


This article highlights and discusses our experience in the design, handling, and biological evaluation of long-circulating nanoparticles based on polyoxypropylene/polyoxyethylene copolymer nonionic surfactants. A frequently observed but ignored phenomenon following intravenous injection of such polymer-modified long-circulating colloidal systems is their eventual recognition and clearance by macrophages of the reticuloendothelial system. The pharmacokinetics as well as the tissue distribution of such so-called "stealth" nanoparticles are also altered after repeated intravenous injection in a time-dependent manner. An understanding of immunological and pathological factors that control the pharmacokinetic and biological behavior of long-circulating particles after single or repeated administration is therefore crucial for the design of a system with an optimal diagnostic and/or therapeutic performance. Therefore, we have also examined and discussed the concept of macrophage recognition of a "stealth-like nature" and factors that initiate this cascade. A critical discussion of the future of this interesting area of nano-biotechnology/engineering is also provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)527-550
Number of pages24
JournalCritical Reviews in Therapeutic Drug Carrier Systems
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2001


  • Bone marrow sinus endothelial cells
  • Complement activation
  • Drug delivery systems
  • Kupffer cell
  • Liposomes
  • Liver endothelial cells
  • Long circulating nanoparticles
  • Macrophage
  • Macrophage activation
  • Opsonization
  • Phagocytosis
  • Poloxamer
  • Poloxamine
  • Spleen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


Dive into the research topics of 'Capture of stealth nanoparticles by the body's defences'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this