Bacterial components as naturally inspired nano-carriers for drug/gene delivery and immunization: Set the bugs to work?

Fatemeh Farjadian, Mohsen Moghoofei, Soroush Mirkiani, Amir Ghasemi, Navid Rabiee, Shima Hadifar, Ali Beyzavi, Mahdi Karimi*, Michael R. Hamblin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

77 Citations (Scopus)


Drug delivery is a rapidly growing area of research motivated by the nanotechnology revolution, the ideal of personalized medicine, and the desire to reduce the side effects of toxic anti-cancer drugs. Amongst a bewildering array of different nanostructures and nanocarriers, those examples that are fundamentally bio-inspired and derived from natural sources are particularly preferred. Delivery of vaccines is also an active area of research in this field. Bacterial cells and their components that have been used for drug delivery, include the crystalline cell-surface layer known as “S-layer” bacterial ghosts, bacterial outer membrane vesicles, and bacterial products or derivatives (e.g. spores, polymers, and magnetic nanoparticles). Considering the origin of these components from potentially pathogenic microorganisms, it is not surprising that they have been applied for vaccines and immunization. The present review critically summarizes their applications focusing on their advantages for delivery of drugs, genes, and vaccines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)968-985
Number of pages18
JournalBiotechnology Advances
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Bacterial components
  • Bacterial ghosts
  • Bacterial polymers
  • Drug delivery system
  • Endospores
  • Immunization, S-layer
  • Nanomedicine


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  • Novel nanocarriers for drug delivery applications

    Rabiee, N., Ghadiri, A. M., Safarkhani, M., Fatahi, Y., Kiani, M., Ahmadi, S., Mozafari, M., Saeb, M. R., Makvandi, P., Hamblin, M. R., Varma, R. S., Rabiee, M., Mostafavi, E., Zarrintaj, P., Hamed Mashhadzadeh, A., Tahriri, M., Tayebi, L. & Shokouhimehr, M.

    10/09/18 → …

    Project: Research

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