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Nano/microparticles as drug delivery vehicles

Drug delivery refers to the delivery of pharmaceutical compounds to human beings. The frequently used methods include oral, nasal, ocular, transdermal, intravenous and intramuscular routes. To improve the effectiveness or tolerability, and simplify the administration, drug delivery systems have been one of the foci in the biomedical field. Until now, various systems have been developed, such as implantable polymer devices, microparticles, liposome and nanoparticles. Microparticles are usually larger than 1 μm and spherical.

polymer
FESEM image of polymer microparticles at magnification ×50. The scale bar is 500 μm.

Drug loaded polymer microparticles usually can protect drugs from degradation, give sustained drug release profile, and sometimes lower the side effect. In the area, poly (lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) and poly (lactide) are often used due to the biodegradability and biocompatibility. Here, cisplatin, a potent anticancer drug but with acute toxicity, was encapsulated in the PLGA microparticles with hydroxyapatite as an inorganic filler. The system is developed for the treatment of osteosarcoma through local release of drug molecules, which would significantly lower the side effects of IV administration such as nephrotoxicity. 

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