Mitochondria-targeting particles

Amaraporn Wongrakpanich, Sean M. Geary, Mei Ling A. Joiner, Mark E. Anderson, Aliasger K. Salem

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Mitochondria are a promising therapeutic target for the detection, prevention and treatment of various human diseases such as cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, ischemia-reperfusion injury, diabetes and obesity. To reach mitochondria, therapeutic molecules need to not only gain access to specific organs, but also to overcome multiple barriers such as the cell membrane and the outer and inner mitochondrial membranes. Cellular and mitochondrial barriers can be potentially overcome through the design of mitochondriotropic particulate carriers capable of transporting drug molecules selectively to mitochondria. These particulate carriers or vectors can be made from lipids (liposomes), biodegradable polymers, or metals, protecting the drug cargo from rapid elimination and degradation in vivo. Many formulations can be tailored to target mitochondria by the incorporation of mitochondriotropic agents onto the surface and can be manufactured to desired sizes and molecular charge. Here, we summarize recently reported strategies for delivering therapeutic molecules to mitochondria using various particle-based formulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2531-2543
Number of pages13
Issue number16
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014


  • intracellular targeting
  • mitochondria
  • mitochondria targeting
  • nanotechnology
  • organelle specific
  • particles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)


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