Importance of the field: Among many nanostructural shapes, filamentous shapes can have unique advantages over the others, including longer persistence in the bloodstream. With the advent of nanotechnology in recent years, a variety of shape-controlled nanostructures has been fabricated. As a wide variety of building blocks can self-assemble into filamentous nanostructures, there are many options available for biomaterial developments with filamentous nanostructures. Similarly to conventional spherical micelles, most filamentous nanostructures have hydrophobic cores where hydrophobic guest molecules can be encapsulated, which enable them to be used in drug delivery applications. Moreover, on suitable molecular design and self-assembly process control, filamentous nanostructures can also be made to deliver nucleic acids or even both drugs and nucleic acids simultaneously. Areas covered in this review: This review describes the self-assembly process, current developments, and prospects of filamentous nanostructures in drug and gene delivery applications. What the reader will gain: This review should be helpful in gaining insight into the self-assembly process and nanostructural shape control, the advantages of constructing filamentous nanostructures, and the design of more advanced nanobiomaterials. Take home message: At present, the development of multifunctional nanostructures is one of the main focuses in nanobiomaterial developments. In this regard, filamentous nanostructures can be good initial targets for tailor-made nanostructure developments because they have more structural variables, as compared with spherical micelles.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors thank the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea for support through Grants-in-aid 2009-0066736, 2009-0076516 and 2009-0082617, and the grants from the
Translational Research Center for Protein Function Control, Yonsei University (2009-0092971), Priority Research Center (2009-0093823) and Yonsei University Research Fund (2009-7-0126).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pharmaceutical Science