Smart Materials for Drug Delivery
Materials are called “smart” when these materials have the ability to respond to stimuli and have high potential in novel drug delivery systems. The delivery of drugs to specific locations in the human body using smart materials has been approaching the forefront place in research for the past few decades. Materials for delivering drugs must design drug carriers that do not interact non-specifically within the body.
Polymers have played an important role in the advancement of drug delivery technology by providing controlled release of therapeutic agents in constant doses over long periods and release of both hydrophilic and hydrophobic drugs. The greatest advantage of polymers is their ability to chemical modification, resulting in defined chemical composition, customized surface functionality and the potential for defined three-dimensional structures. Several polymers widely used in clinical therapies are synthetic polymers and natural polymers.
Nano materials are used in controlled drug delivery. Drug-delivery systems can be synthesized with controlled composition, shape, size and morphology. Nanoparticles surface properties can be manipulated to increase solubility, immunocompatibility and cellular uptake.
Natural gums are one of the major areas for applications in the drug delivery system because of their wide availability, inexpensiveness.