Biotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering 2020; 25(6): 985-995  
Albumin: An Emerging Opportunity in Drug Delivery
Parastou Rahimizadeh, Sungtae Yang, and Sung In Lim
Parastou Rahimizadeh, Sung In Lim*
Department of Chemical Engineering, Pukyong National University, Busan 48513, Korea
Tel: +82-51-629-6435; Fax: +82-51-629-7487
Sungtae Yang
Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, Chosun University, Gwangju 61452, Korea
Received: January 1, 2020; Revised: March 25, 2020; Accepted: March 27, 2020; Published online: December 31, 2020.
© The Korean Society for Biotechnology and Bioengineering. All rights reserved.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Albumin, the most abundant and long-lived serum protein, exhibits novel features as a carrier that can greatly enhance the pharmacological action of therapeutic payloads. Besides passive trafficking by enhanced permeability and retention effect, albumin has been shown to accumulate within the tumor environment or inflamed tissues by receptor-mediated active transport, lending itself to being a promising scaffold for targeted drug delivery. Albumin has recently been found to be a scavenger for amyloid-β with the potential to treat neurodegenerative diseases. The hydrophobic binding pockets, conjugatable thiol residue, and surface-exposed N- and C-termini in albumin inherently serve as useful spots for carrying various kinds of peptidyl and non-peptidyl drugs. Beyond its long-standing role as a half-life extender, albumin is emerging as a versatile drug carrier to aid numerous therapeutic agents that have poor pharmacokinetics, targetability, solubility, and instability in vivo.
Keywords: human serum albumin, drug delivery, drug carrier, conjugation, nanoparticle, fusion

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