The study of lectins. The hour of birth of "lectinology" may be defined as the description of the agglutinating properties of ricin, by Herrmann Stillmark in 1888, however, the modern era of lectinology began almost 100 years later in 1972 with the purification of different plant lectins by Sharon and Lis. The idea to use lectins for drug delivery came in 1988 from Woodley and Naisbett, who proposed the use of tomato lectin to target the luminal surface of the small intestine.