Nanoparticles (NPs) have been widely applied as drug carriers in drug delivery, due to their unique physical and structural properties. To achieve the drug delivery purpose, receptor-mediated endocytosis is a primary explored mechanism to internalize NPs into tumor cells. During the endocytosis process, properties of NPs, including size, shape, and surface functionality, play an important role in determining the final drug delivery efficacy. Many of these NP properties have been extensively explored individually. However, the multiple NP properties naturally interplay with each other in the endocytosis process to determine the internalization efficiency together. Therefore, it is significantly important to understand the interplay of different NP properties to improve the NP’s final delivery efficacy. In this review, we focus on the interplay of NPs properties on the endocytosis process to summarize the relevant experimental observations and physical mechanisms. Particularly, three different aspects are discussed in detail, including the interplay between size and shape; size and elasticity; shape and elasticity. We have summarized the most recent works and highlighted that building up systematic understandings for the complex interplay between NP properties can greatly help a better design of NP platforms for drug delivery.
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