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Review Article

Effectiveness <i>In Vivo</i> and <i>In Vitro</i> of Polymeric Nanoparticles as a Drug Release System in the Treatment of Leishmaniasis

[ Vol. 31 , Issue. 3 ]


Lívia Maria Coelho de Carvalho Moreira, Ana Beatriz Almeida de Sousa Silva, Kaline de Araújo Medeiros, João Augusto Oshiro Júnior, Dayanne Tomaz Casimiro da Silva and Bolívar Ponciano Goulart de Lima Damasceno*   Pages 286 - 307 ( 22 )


Leishmaniasis is a neglected disease caused by the parasite of the genus Leishmania. Current treatment regimens are obsolete and cause several side effects, promoting poor patient compliance, in addition to the vast majority already having the potential for resistance. Therefore, polymeric nanoparticles emerge as one of the viable alternatives to overcome existing limitations, through passive or active vectorization. This review aims to summarize the latest studies of polymeric nanoparticles as an alternative treatment for leishmaniasis. In the first section, the main pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic challenges of current drugs are reported. The second section details how nanoparticles with and without functionalization are efficient in the treatment of leishmaniasis, discussing the characteristics of the polymer in the formulation. In this way, polymeric nanoparticles can improve the physicochemical properties of leishmanicidal drugs, improving solubility and stability, as well as improve the release of these drugs, directly or indirectly reaching monocytes/macrophages. 64.28% drugs were focused on the treatment of visceral leishmaniasis, and 28.57% on cutaneous leishmaniasis. The most chosen polymers in the literature are chitosan (35.71%) and PLGA (35.71%), the others represented 14.30% drugs, with all able to manage the drug release and increase the in vitro and/or in vivo efficacy of the original molecule. However, there are several barriers for these nanoformulations to cross laboratory research and is necessary more in-depth studies about the metabolites and degradation pathways of the polymers used in the formulations and plasma proteomics studies.


Neglected disease, leishmania, release systems, polymeric nanoparticles, passive vectorization, functionalized nanoparticles, active vectoring.


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