Numerous diseases have been reported to affect the lymphatic system. As such, several strategies have been developed to deliver chemotherapeutics to this specific network of tissues and associated organs. Nanotechnology has been exploited as one of the main approaches to improve the lymphatic uptake of drugs. Different nanoparticle approaches utilized for both active and passive targeting of the lymphatic system are discussed here. Specifically, due to the rich abundance of lymphatic capillaries in the dermis, particular attention is given to this route of administration, as intradermal administration could potentially result in higher lymphatic uptake compared to other routes of administration. Recently, progress in microneedle research has attracted particular attention as an alternative for the use of conventional hypodermic injections. The benefits of microneedles, when compared to intradermal injection, are subsequently highlighted. Importantly, microneedles exhibit particular benefit in relation to therapeutic targeting of the lymphatic system, especially when combined with nanoparticles, which are further discussed. However, despite the apparent benefits provided by this combination approach, further comprehensive preclinical and clinical studies are now necessary to realize the potential extent of this dual-delivery platform, further taking into consideration eventual usability and acceptability in the intended patient end-users.
- dermal lymphatic uptake
- lymphatic system
- targeted drug delivery system