Implications of the human gut-brain and gut-cancer axes for future nanomedicine

Ibrahim Javed, Xuejing Cui, Xiaoyu Wang, Monika Mortimer, Nikolaos Andrikopoulos, Yuhuan Li, Thomas P. Davis, Yuliang Zhao, Pu Chun Ke, Chunying Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Recent clinical and pathological evidence have implicated the gut microbiota as a nexus for modulating the homeostasis of the human body, impacting conditions from cancer and dementia to obesity and social behavior. The connections between microbiota and human diseases offer numerous opportunities in medicine, most of which have limited or no therapeutic solutions available. In light of this paradigm-setting trend in science, this review aims to provide a comprehensive and timely summary of the mechanistic pathways governing the gut microbiota and their implications for nanomedicines targeting cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. Specifically, we discuss in parallel the beneficial and pathogenic relationship of the gut microbiota along the gut-brain and gut-cancer axes, elaborate on the impact of dysbiosis and the gastrointestinal corona on the efficacy of nanomedicines, and highlight a molecular mimicry that manipulates the universal cross-β backbone of bacterial amyloid to accelerate neurological disorders. This review further offers a forward-looking section on the rational design of cancer and dementia nanomedicines exploiting the gut-brain and gut-cancer axes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14391-14416
Number of pages26
JournalACS Nano
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 24 2020


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Amyloid
  • Cancer
  • Corona
  • Gut-brain axis
  • Gut-cancer axis
  • Microbiota
  • Nanomedicine
  • Parkinson’s disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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