Issue 4, 2021

Heparin modulates the cellular uptake of nanomedicines


Liposomal formulations are used to improve the safety and cellular absorption of conventional drugs by limiting their interaction with phagocytes. The uptake behaviour of these nanocarriers is affected by the blood composition, and accordingly the presence of an anticoagulant in the blood could have a critical impact on the efficiency of nanomedicines. For the negatively charged liposomes, such as AmBisome®, no significant change in the uptake could be observed when co-incubated with heparin and primary phagocytes. Yet, we observed that a peak of the uptake extent of cationic liposomes was reached at a clinically relevant concentration of heparin for phagocytes and cancer cells. Hence, we recommend avoiding treatment of a heparinized patient with cationic nanomedicines because unexpectedly high uptake can occur in phagocytes.

Graphical abstract: Heparin modulates the cellular uptake of nanomedicines

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Article information

Article type
15 Nov 2020
26 Jan 2021
First published
27 Jan 2021
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY license

Biomater. Sci., 2021,9, 1227-1231

Heparin modulates the cellular uptake of nanomedicines

C. Champanhac, H. Haas, K. Landfester and V. Mailänder, Biomater. Sci., 2021, 9, 1227 DOI: 10.1039/D0BM01946A

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