Atherosclerosis is the main underlying cause of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), which remain the number one contributor to mortality worldwide. Although current therapies can slow down disease progression, no treatment is available that can fully cure or reverse atherosclerosis. Nanomedicine, which is the application of nanotechnology in medicine, is an emerging field in the treatment of many pathologies, including CVDs. It enables the production of drugs that interact with cellular receptors, and allows for controlling cellular processes after entering these cells. Nanomedicine aims to repair, control and monitor biological and physiological systems via nanoparticles (NPs), which have been shown to be efficient drug carriers. In this review we will, after a general introduction, highlight the advantages and limitations of the use of such nano-based medicine, the potential applications and targeting strategies via NPs. For example, we will provide a detailed discussion on NPs that can target relevant cellular receptors, such as integrins, or cellular processes related to atherogenesis, such as vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation. Furthermore, we will underline the (ongoing) clinical trials focusing on NPs in CVDs, which might bring new insights into this research field.
- cardiovascular disease
- LDL CHOLESTEROL