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Engineering Silica Particles as Oral Drug Delivery Vehicles

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Porous silica particles are emerging as complementary systems to polyester microspheres for the encapsulation and controlled delivery of small-organic drugs. Their recent application in pharmaceutics is strengthened by well-established characterization and synthetic routes from the chemical engineering sciences. Silica is an interesting scaffold material for the encapsulation of organic molecules. It can be formed into hierarchical structures over a wide range of length scales and interconnectivities. Encapsulation can therefore be tailored not only to the drug but the desired release properties. In addition to surfactant-templating of hierarchical silica structures, polypeptides from marine organisms may offer biological routes to novel silica materials. Silica sol-gels have also been evaluated as delivery vehicles, particularly with regard to generating hybrid systems with mesoporous silica or composite xerogels. This review will first focus on the detailed characterisation of pore size and structure of mesoporous silica with regards water penetration and drug diffusion. We then describe the pharmaceutical applications of silica materials with regard to improving oral bioavailability, multiparticulate systems for gastroretention or sustained release, composite xerogels and in vivo biocompatibility.
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Keywords: Mesoporous silica; biosilica; dissolution; drug release; passive targeting; pore size; xerogels

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK.

Publication date: June 1, 2008

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  • Current Pharmaceutical Design publishes timely in-depth reviews covering all aspects of current research in rational drug design. Each issue is devoted to a single major therapeutic area. A Guest Editor who is an acknowledged authority in a therapeutic field has solicits for each issue comprehensive and timely reviews from leading researchers in the pharmaceutical industry and academia.

    Each thematic issue of Current Pharmaceutical Design covers all subject areas of major importance to modern drug design, including: medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, drug targets and disease mechanism.
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