Encapsulation of asparaginase as a promising strategy to improve in vivo drug performance

Francisca Villanueva-Flores, Andrés Zárate-Romero, Alfredo G. Torres, Alejandro Huerta-Saquero

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Asparaginase (ASNase) is a widely applied chemotherapeutic drug that is used to treat Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL); however, immune responses and silent inactivation of the drug often limit its bioavailability. Many strategies have been proposed to overcome these drawbacks, including the development of improved formulations (biobetters), but only two of them are currently on the market. Nano-and micro-encapsulation are some of the most promising and novel approaches to enhance in vivo performance of ASNase, preventing the direct contact of the enzyme with the environment, protecting it from protease degradation, increasing the enzymes catalytic half-life, and in some cases, reducing immunogenicity. This review summarizes the strategies, particularly for ASNase nano-and micro-encapsulation, and their main findings, constraints, and current gaps in the state-of-the-art knowledge. The pros and cons of the use of different nanocarriers are discussed with the idea to ultimately provide safer and more effective treatments for patients with ALL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1965
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
  • Asparaginase
  • Biobetter
  • Nanocarrier
  • Quality by design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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