Bacteriophages and phage-inspired nanocarriers for targeted delivery of therapeutic cargos

Mahdi Karimi, Hamed Mirshekari, Seyed Masoud Moosavi Basri, Sajad Bahrami, Mohsen Moghoofei, Michael R. Hamblin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

129 Citations (Scopus)


The main goal of drug delivery systems is to target therapeutic cargoes to desired cells and to ensure their efficient uptake. Recently a number of studies have focused on designing bio-inspired nanocarriers, such as bacteriophages, and synthetic carriers based on the bacteriophage structure. Bacteriophages are viruses that specifically recognize their bacterial hosts. They can replicate only inside their host cell and can act as natural gene carriers. Each type of phage has a particular shape, a different capacity for loading cargo, a specific production time, and their own mechanisms of supramolecular assembly, that have enabled them to act as tunable carriers. New phage-based technologies have led to the construction of different peptide libraries, and recognition abilities provided by novel targeting ligands. Phage hybridization with non-organic compounds introduces new properties to phages and could be a suitable strategy for construction of bio-inorganic carriers. In this review we try to cover the major phage species that have been used in drug and gene delivery systems, and the biological application of phages as novel targeting ligands and targeted therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-62
Number of pages18
JournalAdvanced Drug Delivery Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Bacteriophage
  • Bioinspired drug delivery
  • Display
  • Nanocarriers
  • Phage
  • Targeting
  • Virus-like particles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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