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Application of Nanotechnology in Pharmaceutical Formulation Design and Development

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Application of biopharmaceutical concepts to formulation development has revolutionized strategy for dosage form design. Nanotechnology has become an essential element of pharmaceutical sciences and finds multiple applications in drug delivery systems in enhancing therapeutic performance of drugs. Many of the current “nano” drug delivery systems are pedigree of conventional dosage forms like nanosuspensions, nanoemulsions, and nanomicelles. Nanosuspension is an approach to deliver water insoluble and poorly bioavailable drugs by reducing size to submicron range. Thereby its dissolution rate is increased and hence the bioavailability, where drug dissolution rate is the limiting factor. Nanoemulsions are O/W or W/O emulsion, having droplet size from 20-200 nm that are transparent and do not have the tendency to coalesce. Nanoemulsions show great aesthetic appeal and skin feel and find their application in transdermal delivery of drugs, topical application for systemic drug delivery, oral delivery of proteins and delivering drugs through parenteral and intranasal routes. Nanomicelles are self-assembling nanosized (usually with particle size within a range of 10 to 100 nm) colloidal dispersions with a hydrophobic core and hydrophilic shell. These are currently used as pharmaceutical carriers for solubilizing hydrophobic drugs and provide drug delivery platform to be exploited for multiple routes of administration. All of these nano formulations combine the advantage of maximizing therapeutic benefits with minimized side effects and improved safety, since they have enormous potential of being targeted at cellular level. This review describes various facets of nano drug delivery systems in relation to formulation, characterization, potential benefits and risks, and pharmaceutical applications in drug delivery.
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Keywords: Nanocrystalline; nanoemulsions; nanomedicine; nanomicelles; nanosuspensions; nanotechnology

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2015

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  • Current Drug Therapy publishes frontier reviews on all the latest advances in drug therapy. The journal's aim is to publish the highest quality review articles in the field. Topics covered include: new and existing drugs, therapies and medical devices.

    The journal is essential reading for all researchers and clinicians involved in drug therapy.
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