Polymers for drug delivery
Siegwart, Daniel J. Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Care Center, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas.
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The field of drug delivery has been through a few eras of advancement. Early efforts were simply directed at using polymers to enable the slow release of drugs. This was done to mitigate side effects, enable prolonged drug action over time, and increase the bioavailability of drugs in the body. The next phase focused on achieving zero-order (steady) drug-release profiles. It was thought that having a constant concentration of a drug would provide an optimal therapeutic effect. Most likely, a system that enables the concentration of a drug to remain above the minimum effective dose and below the maximum toxic dose (within the so-called therapeutic window) will improve the efficacy and duration of therapy. Scientists are currently in a third era of “smart” drug delivery, where researchers are seeking to design drug delivery systems that can release drugs on demand, in response to specific stimuli. This can include pH, temperature, specific enzymes, and other forms of triggers. Scientists would also like to have better control of the interactions of polymer nanoparticles with biological fluids and proteins in the body. Therefore, polymers for drug delivery are now being called upon to perform many functions. These include increasing the time that drugs are available (in blood circulation or in the tissue), mediating the biodistribution (the location of the drug in the body), improving the solubility of drugs (for example, hydrophobic, water-insoluble small-molecule drugs), improving the stability of drugs (for example, nucleic acid or protein drugs), providing active or passive transport of the drug to targeted tissues, enabling controlled release of the drug in response to stimuli, and controlling the specific interaction of the drug with biomolecules in the body. Recently, a number of advancements have been made that will have a positive effect on the future of drug delivery using polymers. A few of them are highlighted in this article.
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Its dedicated editorial team is led by Sagan Award winner John Rennie. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 42 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8500 articles and Research Reviews covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 17,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information