Monocytes and macrophages as nanomedicinal targets for improved diagnosis and treatment of disease

Marnix A. Lameijer, Jun Tang, Matthias Nahrendorf, Robert H. J. Beelen, Willem J. M. Mulder

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

83 Citations (Scopus)


The important role of monocytes and macrophages in diseases like cancer and atherosclerosis has started to get uncovered in the last decade. In addition, subsets of these cell types are believed to participate in the initiation and aggravation of several diseases including cancer and cardiovascular disease. For this reason, monocytes and macrophages have recently been identified as interesting targets for both diagnosis and treatment of the aforementioned pathologies. Compared with free therapeutic or imaging agents, nanoparticle formulations provide several advantages that improve the pharmacokinetics and bioavailability of these agents. In addition, the possibility of surface functionalization creates numerous ways to optimize nanoparticle delivery. Recent advances in nanomedicine have led to the development of multifunctional nanoparticles that allow simultaneous diagnosis and treatment of monocytes and macrophages with high specificity. Relying on the inherent ability of monocytes and macrophages to easily take up foreign particles, the use of nanoparticles provides a precious opportunity for the management of several inflammatory diseases
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)567-580
JournalExpert review of molecular diagnostics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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