Electroporation for nanomedicine: a review
Nanoparticles have shown great promise in the development of efficient drug delivery systems, early diagnosis, and high-resolution imaging of hard-to-find diseases, such as early-stage malignant cancer and very rare circulating tumor cells, for pharmaceutical and medical applications. Recently, nanoparticles have been used as intracellular carriers of nano-drugs into targeted cells to release a slowly diffusing drug in the vicinity of the target disease. Several methods such as chemical reagent-based uptake, mechanical bombardment, direct injection, and electroporation have been developed to deliver nanoparticles into cells in a controlled manner. Unlike other methods, electroporation has continued to have great success with respect to the uptake efficiency, post-viability of cells, and high-throughput yield rate for numerous cell applications in association with nanoparticles. In this review, we present recent advances in the delivery of nanoparticles as intracellular carriers by electroporation (NICE) and highlight the salient features of NICE delivery at a multiscale level. We furthermore discuss the current challenges and future perspectives of NICE delivery for clinical applications.