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Drug Release from Porous Matrixes based on Natural Polymers

[ Vol. 18 , Issue. 9 ]


Beata Kaczmarek* and Alina Sionkowska   Pages 721 - 729 ( 9 )


Background: This review provides a report on recent advances in the field of drug release from matrixes made of natural polymers. Herein, the properties of natural polymers such as proteins and polysaccharides are discussed in general. Selected detailed examples of drug release profiles from biopolymer matrixes have also been collected from scientific literature and practical work, and commented on. In this review, the most common natural polymers, i.e. collagen, elastin, chitosan, hyaluronic acid and sodium alginate have been discussed as biopolymers that can be potentially applied in drug delivery systems.

Methodology: The most rapidly developing field of the biomaterials science is the one dealing with their application as matrixes in drug release systems. Such systems show numerous advantages when compared to conventional ones. They improve medical treatment efficiency due to the fact that drugs are placed directly into the infected part. Moreover, the drug release systems reduce toxic reactions because the drug does not pass through the body and, as a result, does not affect the healthy tissues. Such systems also improve the patient’s comfort during the treatment.

Result: Biocompatibility, bioresorbability and non-toxicity are the significant properties characteristic for natural polymers. Natural polymers can be used to obtain biomaterials which can further find their applications in the production of bones or soft tissues implants as well as dressing materials placed on damaged skin. Nevertheless, the disadvantages of biomaterials made of natural polymers, e.g., high solubility and low thermal stability, limit the range of their potential applications. Therefore, it is necessary to modify material properties by carrying out the cross-linking process.

Conclusion: Recently, a rapidly growing interest in the use of porous materials as controlled drug delivery matrixes has been observed since they present several positive features. The drug release from polymeric matrixes is based on the carrier degradation process which depends on dissolving and diffusion processes. The selection of a polymeric matrix depends on its compatibility with the drug as well as the manufacturing process which needs to be considered. The proper adjustment of the drug release rate is necessary to obtain the best results during medical treatment. Numerous classes of hydrophilic as well as hydrophobic drugs can be released from polymeric matrixes which is beneficial to medical treatment. The research of different drug release systems has already been carried out, and the results can be found in scientific literature.


Biopolymer matrixes, drug release, drugs, natural polymers, porous materials, tissue engineering.


Department of Chemistry of Biomaterials and Cosmetics, Faculty of Chemistry, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Torun, Department of Chemistry of Biomaterials and Cosmetics, Faculty of Chemistry, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Torun

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