Nano-based theranostics for chronic obstructive lung diseases: Challenges and therapeutic potential

Neeraj Vij

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The major challenges in the delivery and therapeutic efficacy of nano-delivery systems in chronic obstructive airway conditions are airway defense, severe inflammation and mucous hypersecretion. Chronic airway inflammation and mucous hypersecretion are hallmarks of chronic obstructive airway diseases, including asthma, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and CF (cystic fibrosis). Distinct etiologies drive inflammation and mucous hypersecretion in these diseases, which are further induced by infection or components of cigarette smoke. Controlling chronic inflammation is at the root of treatments such as corticosteroids, antibiotics or other available drugs, which pose the challenge of sustained delivery of drugs to target cells or tissues. In spite of the wide application of nano-based drug delivery systems, very few are tested to date. Targeted nanoparticle-mediated sustained drug delivery is required to control inflammatory cell chemotaxis, fibrosis, protease-mediated chronic emphysema and/or chronic lung obstruction in COPD. Moreover, targeted epithelial delivery is indispensable for correcting the underlying defects in CF and targeted inflammatory cell delivery for controlling other chronic inflammatory lung diseases. We propose that the design and development of nano-based targeted theranostic vehicles with therapeutic, imaging and airway-defense penetrating capability, will be invaluable for treating chronic obstructive lung diseases. This paper discusses a novel nano-theranostic strategy that we are currently evaluating to treat the underlying cause of CF and COPD lung disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1105-1109
Number of pages5
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Delivery
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • CF and COPD
  • Nano
  • Theranostic
  • Therapeutics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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