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Drug delivery

Drug delivery

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Drug delivery is the method or process of administering a pharmaceutical compound to achieve a therapeutic effect
Therapeutic effect
A therapeutic effect is a consequence of a medical treatment of any kind, the results of which are judged to be desirable and beneficial. This is true whether the result was expected, unexpected, or even an unintended consequence of the treatment...

 in human
Human
Humans are the only living species in the Homo genus...

s or animal
Animal
Animals are a major group of multicellular, eukaryotic organisms of the kingdom Animalia or Metazoa. Their body plan eventually becomes fixed as they develop, although some undergo a process of metamorphosis later on in their life. Most animals are motile, meaning they can move spontaneously and...

s. Drug delivery technologies modify drug release profile, absorption, distribution and elimination for the benefit of improving product efficacy and safety, as well as patient convenience and compliance. Drug release is from: diffusion, degradation, swelling, and affinity-based mechanisms. Most common routes of administration include the preferred non-invasive peroral (through the mouth), topical
Topical
In medicine, a topical medication is applied to body surfaces such as the skin or mucous membranes such as the vagina, anus, throat, eyes and ears.Many topical medications are epicutaneous, meaning that they are applied directly to the skin...

 (skin), transmucosal (nasal
Nasal administration
Nasal administration can be used to deliver drugs for either local or systemic effect. Locally acting drugs are for example decongestants and allergy treatments...

, buccal
Buccal
Buccal may refer to:* Mouth, a body cavity** Specifically the cheek* Buccal artery...

/sublingual
Sublingual
Sublingual, literally 'under the tongue', from Latin, refers to the pharmacological route of administration by which drugs diffuse into the blood through tissues under the tongue...

, vagina
Vagina
The vagina is a fibromuscular tubular tract leading from the uterus to the exterior of the body in female placental mammals and marsupials, or to the cloaca in female birds, monotremes, and some reptiles. Female insects and other invertebrates also have a vagina, which is the terminal part of the...

l, ocular
Human eye
The human eye is an organ which reacts to light for several purposes. As a conscious sense organ, the eye allows vision. Rod and cone cells in the retina allow conscious light perception and vision including color differentiation and the perception of depth...

 and rectal) and inhalation
Inhalation
Inhalation is the movement of air from the external environment, through the air ways, and into the alveoli....

 routes. Many medications such as peptide
Peptide
Peptides are short polymers of amino acid monomers linked by peptide bonds. They are distinguished from proteins on the basis of size, typically containing less than 50 monomer units. The shortest peptides are dipeptides, consisting of two amino acids joined by a single peptide bond...

 and protein
Protein
Proteins are biochemical compounds consisting of one or more polypeptides typically folded into a globular or fibrous form, facilitating a biological function. A polypeptide is a single linear polymer chain of amino acids bonded together by peptide bonds between the carboxyl and amino groups of...

, antibody
Antibody
An antibody, also known as an immunoglobulin, is a large Y-shaped protein used by the immune system to identify and neutralize foreign objects such as bacteria and viruses. The antibody recognizes a unique part of the foreign target, termed an antigen...

, vaccine
Vaccine
A vaccine is a biological preparation that improves immunity to a particular disease. A vaccine typically contains an agent that resembles a disease-causing microorganism, and is often made from weakened or killed forms of the microbe or its toxins...

 and gene
Gene
A gene is a molecular unit of heredity of a living organism. It is a name given to some stretches of DNA and RNA that code for a type of protein or for an RNA chain that has a function in the organism. Living beings depend on genes, as they specify all proteins and functional RNA chains...

 based drugs, in general may not be delivered using these routes because they might be susceptible to enzymatic degradation or can not be absorbed into the systemic circulation efficiently due to molecular size and charge issues to be therapeutically effective. For this reason many protein
Protein
Proteins are biochemical compounds consisting of one or more polypeptides typically folded into a globular or fibrous form, facilitating a biological function. A polypeptide is a single linear polymer chain of amino acids bonded together by peptide bonds between the carboxyl and amino groups of...

 and peptide
Peptide
Peptides are short polymers of amino acid monomers linked by peptide bonds. They are distinguished from proteins on the basis of size, typically containing less than 50 monomer units. The shortest peptides are dipeptides, consisting of two amino acids joined by a single peptide bond...

 drugs have to be delivered by injection
Injection (medicine)
An injection is an infusion method of putting fluid into the body, usually with a hollow needle and a syringe which is pierced through the skin to a sufficient depth for the material to be forced into the body...

 or a nanoneedle
Nanoneedle
Nanoneedles may be conical or tubular needles in the nanometre size range, made from silicon or boron-nitride with a central bore of sufficient size to allow the passage of large molecules, or solid needles useful in Raman spectroscopy, light emitting diodes and laser diodes.The conical needles...

 array.
For example, many immunization
Immunization
Immunization, or immunisation, is the process by which an individual's immune system becomes fortified against an agent ....

s are based on the delivery of protein drugs and are often done by injection.

Current efforts in the area of drug delivery include the development of targeted delivery
Targeted drug delivery
Targeted drug delivery, sometimes called smart drug delivery, is a method of delivering medication to a patient in a manner that increases the concentration of the medication in some parts of the body relative to others. The goal of a targeted drug delivery system is to prolong, localize, target...

 in which the drug is only active in the target area of the body (for example, in cancer
Cancer
Cancer , known medically as a malignant neoplasm, is a large group of different diseases, all involving unregulated cell growth. In cancer, cells divide and grow uncontrollably, forming malignant tumors, and invade nearby parts of the body. The cancer may also spread to more distant parts of the...

ous tissues) and sustained release formulations
Sustained release dosage forms
Sustained release dosage forms are designed to release a drug at a predetermined rate by maintaining a constant drug level for a specific period of time with minimum side effects. This can be achieved through a variety of formulations, including liposomes and drug-polymer conjugates...

 in which the drug is released over a period of time in a controlled manner from a formulation. In order to achieve efficient targeted delivery, the designed system must avoid the host's defense mechanisms and circulate to its intended site of action. Types of sustained release formulations include liposomes, drug loaded biodegradable microspheres and drug polymer conjugates.

See also

  • Targeted drug delivery
    Targeted drug delivery
    Targeted drug delivery, sometimes called smart drug delivery, is a method of delivering medication to a patient in a manner that increases the concentration of the medication in some parts of the body relative to others. The goal of a targeted drug delivery system is to prolong, localize, target...

  • Thin film drug delivery
    Thin film drug delivery
    Thin film drug delivery uses a dissolving film or oral drug strip to administer drugs via absorption in the mouth and/or via the small intestines...

  • Self-microemulsifying drug delivery system
    Self-microemulsifying drug delivery system
    A self-microemulsifying drug delivery system is a drug delivery system that uses a microemulsion achieved by chemical rather than mechanical means. That is, by an intrinsic property of the drug formulation, rather than by special mixing and handling. It employs the familiar ouzo effect displayed...

  • Acoustic targeted drug delivery
    Acoustic Targeted Drug Delivery
    Acoustic targeted drug delivery is a method that uses ultrasound energy to enhance the transport of molecules into and/or across specific tissues...

  • Neural drug delivery systems
    Neural drug delivery systems
    Neural drug delivery is the next step beyond the basic addition of growth factors to nerve guidance conduits. Drug delivery systems allow the rate of growth factor release to be regulated over time, which is critical for creating an environment more closely representative of in vivo development...

  • Drug carrier
    Drug carrier
    Drug carriers are substances that serve as mechanisms to improve the delivery and the effectiveness of drugs. Drug carriers are used in sundry drug delivery systems such as:*controlled-release technology to prolong in vivo drug actions;...


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