Biopharmaceutical nanoclusters: Towards the self-delivery of protein and peptide therapeutics

Mia Danielsen, Casper Hempel, Thomas L. Andresen, Andrew J. Urquhart*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewpeer-review

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Protein and peptide biopharmaceuticals have had a major impact on the treatment of a number of diseases. There is a growing interest in overcoming some of the challenges associated with biopharmaceuticals, such as rapid degradation in physiological fluid, using nanocarrier delivery systems. Biopharmaceutical nanoclusters (BNCs) where the therapeutic protein or peptide is clustered together to form the main constituent of the nanocarrier system have the potential to mimic the benefits of more established nanocarriers (e.g., liposomal and polymeric systems) whilst eliminating the issue of low drug loading and potential side effects from additives. These benefits would include enhanced stability, improved absorption, and increased biopharmaceutical activity. However, the successful development of BNCs is challenged by the physicochemical complexity of the protein and peptide constituents as well as the dynamics of clustering. Here, we present and discuss common methodologies for the synthesis of therapeutic protein and peptide nanoclusters, as well as review the current status of this emerging field.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of controlled release
Pages (from-to)282-307
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Biologic
  • Biopharmaceutical
  • Drug delivery
  • Methodology
  • Nanoclusters
  • Nanoparticles


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