Nonionic surfactant based vesicles which are uni/multilamellar in structures are called niosomes. These vesicles contains an aqueous interior surrounded by one or more amphiphilic bilayer membrane forming surfactant which separates them from the bulk solution, and are also called as supramolecular aggregates. Their production was first reported in the 70s in cosmetic industry, but then potential applications of niosomes were expanded for the delivery of several pharmacological agents such as anticancer, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, antiasthma, antimicrobial, antiviral, antibacterial molecules, and oligonucleotides.
Recent advancements in the field of scientific research have resulted in the endorsement of small molecules such as proteins and vaccines as a major class of therapeutic agents. These, however, pose numerous drug-associated challenges such as poor bioavailability, suitable route of drug delivery, physical and chemical instability and potentially serious side effects. Opinions of the usefulness of niosomes in the delivery of proteins and biologicals can be unsubstantiated with a wide scope in encapsulating toxic drugs such as anti-AIDS drugs, anti-cancer drugs, and anti-viral drugs. It provides a promising carrier system in comparison with ionic drug carriers, which are relatively toxic and unsuitable. However, the technology utilised in niosomes is still in its infancy. Hence, researches are going on to develop a suitable technology for large production because it is a promising targeted drug delivery system.
At present most of the clinical trials about niosomes highlights the great potential of these systems in dermal/transdermal applications but showed, also, the niosomal potentialities as oral formulations for blood glucose lowering or antihypertensive or analgesic drugs .
Some studies done regarding breast cancer treatment under the theme Treatment of breast cancer with engineered novel pH-sensitive triaryl-(Z)-olefin niosomes containing hydrogel: an in vitro and in vivo study showed that the Triaryl-(Z)-olefin (TZO) was synthesized as a Tamoxifen (TMX) analogue for breast cancer treatment to avoid developing the resistance and toxicity of TMX. TZO was synthesized using McMurry olefination reaction and has anti-cancer activity better than TMX by two folds in situ pH-sensitive TZO-loaded niosomes could be an effective treatment for breast cancer.
Niosomes, being an efficient drug delivery system, investigations are carried out to utilize this system to treat various disorders, to promote improved patient compliance, lesser side effects, reduction in dose, lesser dosage frequency, and higher amounts of the drug at the particular site so as to lessen an excessive contact with the whole body.
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