Chrono-tailored drug delivery systems: recent advances and future directions

Christine T. Butler, Aoife M. Rodgers, Annie M. Curtis*, Ryan F. Donnelly*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Circadian rhythms influence a range of biological processes within the body, with the central clock or suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) in the brain synchronising peripheral clocks around the body. These clocks are regulated by external cues, the most influential being the light/dark cycle, in order to synchronise with the external day. Chrono-tailored or circadian drug delivery systems (DDS) aim to optimise drug delivery by releasing drugs at specific times of day to align with circadian rhythms within the body. Although this approach is still relatively new, it has the potential to enhance drug efficacy, minimise side effects, and improve patient compliance. Chrono-tailored DDS have been explored and implemented in various conditions, including asthma, hypertension, and cancer. This review aims to introduce the biology of circadian rhythms and provide an overview of the current research on chrono-tailored DDS, with a particular focus on immunological applications and vaccination. Finally, we draw on some of the key challenges which need to be overcome for chrono-tailored DDS before they can be translated to more widespread use in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalDrug Delivery and Translational Research
Early online date28 Feb 2024
Publication statusEarly online date - 28 Feb 2024


  • Chrono-tailored drug delivery systems
  • Drug delivery
  • Circadian rhythm


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