Lipoproteins and lipoprotein mimetics for imaging and drug delivery

C. Shad Thaxton, Jonathan S. Rink, Pratap C. Naha, David P. Cormode*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


Lipoproteins are a set of natural nanoparticles whose main role is the transport of fats within the body. While much work has been done to develop synthetic nanocarriers to deliver drugs or contrast media, natural nanoparticles such as lipoproteins represent appealing alternatives. Lipoproteins are biocompatible, biodegradable, non-immunogenic and are naturally targeted to some disease sites. Lipoproteins can be modified to act as contrast agents in many ways, such as by insertion of gold cores to provide contrast for computed tomography. They can be loaded with drugs, nucleic acids, photosensitizers or boron to act as therapeutics. Attachment of ligands can re-route lipoproteins to new targets. These attributes render lipoproteins attractive and versatile delivery vehicles. In this review we will provide background on lipoproteins, then survey their roles as contrast agents, in drug and nucleic acid delivery, as well as in photodynamic therapy and boron neutron capture therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)116-131
Number of pages16
JournalAdvanced Drug Delivery Reviews
StatePublished - Nov 15 2016


  • Computed tomography
  • Drug delivery
  • Fluorescence imaging
  • High-density lipoprotein
  • Low-density lipoprotein
  • MRI
  • Photodynamic therapy
  • siRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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