A systematic review of the biodistribution of biomimetic high-density lipoproteins in mice

Dennis Pedersbæk, Jens B. Simonsen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewResearchpeer-review


For the past two decades, biomimetic high-density lipoproteins (b-HDL) have been used for various drug delivery applications. The b-HDL mimic the endogenous HDL, and therefore possess many attractive features for drug delivery, including high biocompatibility, biodegradability, and ability to transport and deliver their cargo (e.g. drugs and/or imaging agents) to specific cells and tissues that are recognized by HDL. The b-HDL designs reported in the literature often differ in size, shape, composition, and type of incorporated cargo. However, there exists only limited insight into how the b-HDL design dictates their biodistribution. To fill this gap, we conducted a comprehensive systematic literature search of biodistribution studies using various designs of apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I)-based b-HDL (i.e. b-HDL with apoA-I, apoA-I mutants, or apoA-I mimicking peptides). We carefully screened 679 papers (search hits) for b-HDL biodistribution studies in mice, and ended up with 24 relevant biodistribution profiles that we compared according to b-HDL design. We show similarities between b-HDL biodistribution studies irrespectively of the b-HDL design, whereas the biodistribution of the b-HDL components (lipids and scaffold) differ significantly. The b-HDL lipids primarily accumulate in liver, while the b-HDL scaffold primarily accumulates in the kidney. Furthermore, both b-HDL lipids and scaffold accumulate well in the tumor tissue in tumor-bearing mice. Finally, we present essential considerations and strategies for b-HDL labeling, and discuss how the b-HDL biodistribution can be tuned through particle design and administration route. Our meta-analysis and discussions provide a detailed overview of the fate of b-HDL in mice that is highly relevant when applying b-HDL for drug delivery or in vivo imaging applications.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of controlled release
Pages (from-to)792-804
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Biomimetic high-density lipoproteins
  • HDL
  • Biodistribution
  • Labeling of nanoparticles
  • Systematic
  • Drug delivery

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