Shape-specific microfabricated particles for biomedical applications: a review

Thomas L. Moore*, Alexander B. Cook, Elena Bellotti, Roberto Palomba, Purnima Manghnani, Raffaele Spanò, Sayanti Brahmachari, Martina Di Francesco, Anna Lisa Palange, Daniele Di Mascolo, Paolo Decuzzi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The storied history of controlled the release systems has evolved over time; from degradable drug-loaded sutures to monolithic zero-ordered release devices and nano-sized drug delivery formulations. Scientists have tuned the physico-chemical properties of these drug carriers to optimize their performance in biomedical/pharmaceutical applications. In particular, particle drug delivery systems at the micron size regime have been used since the 1980s. Recent advances in micro and nanofabrication techniques have enabled precise control of particle size and geometry–here we review the utility of microplates and discoidal polymeric particles for a range of pharmaceutical applications. Microplates are defined as micrometer scale polymeric local depot devices in cuboid form, while discoidal polymeric nanoconstructs are disk-shaped polymeric particles having a cross-sectional diameter in the micrometer range and a thickness in the hundreds of nanometer range. These versatile particles can be used to treat several pathologies such as cancer, inflammatory diseases and vascular diseases, by leveraging their size, shape, physical properties (e.g., stiffness), and component materials, to tune their functionality. This review highlights design and fabrication strategies for these particles, discusses their applications, and elaborates on emerging trends for their use in formulations. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2019-2037
Number of pages19
JournalDrug Delivery and Translational Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2022
Externally publishedYes


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