A quantitative view on multivalent nanomedicine targeting

Laura Woythe, Nicholas B. Tito, Lorenzo Albertazzi (Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)
133 Downloads (Pure)


Although the concept of selective delivery has been postulated over 100 years ago, no targeted nanomedicine has been clinically approved so far. Nanoparticles modified with targeting ligands to promote the selective delivery of therapeutics towards a specific cell population have been extensively reported. However, the rational design of selective particles is still challenging. One of the main reasons for this is the lack of quantitative theoretical and experimental understanding of the interactions involved in cell targeting. In this review, we discuss new theoretical models and experimental methods that provide a quantitative view of targeting. We show the new advancements in multivalency theory enabling the rational design of super-selective nanoparticles. Furthermore, we present the innovative approaches to obtain key targeting parameters at the single-cell and single molecule level and their role in the design of targeting nanoparticles. We believe that the combination of new theoretical multivalent design and experimental methods to quantify receptors and ligands aids in the rational design and clinical translation of targeted nanomedicines.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalAdvanced Drug Delivery Reviews
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


The authors thank the Nanoscopy for Nanomedicine group and the Self-Organizing Soft matter group for the fruitful discussions and feedback. This work was financially supported by the by the Generalitat de Catalunya ( 2017 SGR 01536 ), the European Research Council ( ERC-StG-757397 ) and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research ( NWO VIDI Grant 192.028 ).

FundersFunder number
European Research CouncilERC-StG-757397
Generalitat de Catalunya2017 SGR 01536
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek192.028


    • Multivalency
    • Nanotechnology
    • Quantitative characterization
    • Rational design
    • Super-selectivity


    Dive into the research topics of 'A quantitative view on multivalent nanomedicine targeting'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this