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Supramolecular Approaches for Drug Development

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Various supramolecular systems can be used as drug carriers to alter physicochemical and pharmacokinetic characteristics of drugs. Representative supramolecular systems that can be used for this purpose include surfactant/polymer micelles, (micro)emulsions, liposomes, layer-by-layer assemblies, and various molecular conjugates. Notably, liposomes are established supramolecular drug carriers, which have already been marketed in formulations including AmBisome® (for treatment of fungal infection), Doxil® (for Kaposi’s sarcoma), and Visudyne® (for age-related macular degeneration and choroidal neovascularization). Microemulsions have been used oral drug delivery of poorly soluble drugs due to improvements in bioavailability and predictable of absorption behavior. Neoral®, an immunosuppressant used after transplant operations, is one of the most famous microemulsion-based drugs. Polymer micelles are being increasingly investigated as novel drug carriers and some formulations have already been tested in clinical trials. Supramolecular systems can be functionalized by designing the constituent molecules to achieve efficient delivery of drugs to desired sites in the body. In this review, representative supramolecular drug delivery systems, that may improve usability of candidate drugs or add value to existing drugs, are introduced.
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Keywords: Drug delivery; cyclodextrin; emulsion; hybrid; layer-by-layer; liposome; micelle; microemulsion; molecular conjugate; polymer micelle; self-assembly; supramolecular chemistry

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: World Premier International (WPI) Research Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics (MANA), National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), 1-1 Namiki, Tsukuba 305-0044, Japan.

Publication date: 2012-05-01

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