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Complement activation by drug carriers and particulate pharmaceuticals: Principles, challenges and opportunities

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Moein MoghimiORCiD


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© 2020 Elsevier B.V. Considering the multifaceted protective and homeostatic roles of the complement system, many consequences arise when drug carriers, and particulate pharmaceutical formulations clash with complement proteins, and trigger complement cascade. Complement activation may induce formulation destabilization, promote opsonization, and affect biological and therapeutic performance of pharmaceutical nano- and micro-particles. In some cases, complement activation is beneficial, where complement may play a role in prophylactic protection, whereas uncontrolled complement activation is deleterious, and contributes to disease progression. Accordingly, design initiatives with particulate medicines should consider complement activation properties of the end formulation within the context of administration route, dosing, systems biology, and therapeutic perspective. Here we examine current progress in mechanistic processes underlying complement activation by pre-clinical and clinical particles, identify opportunities and challenges ahead, and suggest future directions in nanomedicine-complement interface research.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Moghimi SM, Simberg D, Papini E, Farhangrazi ZS

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews

Year: 2020

Volume: 157

Pages: 83-95

Online publication date: 07/05/2020

Acceptance date: 30/04/2020

ISSN (print): 0169-409X

ISSN (electronic): 1872-8294

Publisher: Elsevier B.V.


DOI: 10.1016/j.addr.2020.04.012

PubMed id: 32389761