Sensitive Hydrogels as Controlled Drug Delivery Devices

Debajyoti Ray, P. Sunny Gils, Guru Prasad Mohanta, R.Manavalan, Prafulla Kumar Sahoo

Abstract: Recent developments in the field of polymer science and technology has led to the development of various stimuli sensitive hydrogels like pH, temperature sensitive, which are used for the targeted delivery of drug/proteins to colon, and chemotherapeutic agents to tumors. Some environmental variables, such as low pH and elevated temperatures, are found in the body. For this reason, either pH-sensitive and/or temperature sensitive hydrogels can be used for site-specific controlled drug delivery. Hydrogels that are responsive to specific molecules, such as glucose or antigens, can be used as biosensors as well as drug delivery systems. New synthetic methods have been used to prepare homo- and co-polymeric hydrogels for a wide range of drugs, peptides, and protein delivery applications. Random copolymers with balanced hydrophobicity/hydrophilicity, can offer desirable release rates and dissolution profiles, for the development of controlled drug delivery.

Introduction: For the past few decades, biodegradable polymers have been applied as carriers for controlled delivery of low molecular weight drugs as well as bioactive proteins.1,5 Biodegradable polymers, either synthetic or natural, are capable of being cleaved into biocompatible byproducts through chemical or enzyme-catalyzed hydrolysis. This biodegradable property makes it possible to implant them into the body without the need of subsequent removal by the surgical operation. Drugs formulated with these polymers can be released in a controlled manner, by which the drug concentration in the target site is maintained within the therapeutic window. The release rates of the drugs from biodegradable polymers can be controlled by a number of factors, such as biodegradation kinetics of the polymers,6,8 physicochemical properties of the polymers and drug9,10,thermodynamic compatibility between the polymers and drugs,11 and the shape of the devices.12-14


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