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On the Importance of Polyurethane and Polyurea Nanosystems for Future Drug Delivery

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Background: During the last decade, polyurethanes and polyureas have emerged as promising alternatives to classical polyacrylate-, polyester- and polyaminoacid-based drug delivery nanosystems. They are not only biocompatible and biodegradable, but also facilitate the manufacture of polymeric nanostructured nanoparticles in quantitative yields. The versatile chemistry reduces the amount of organic solvents used and allows the straightforward multifunctionalization of polymer precursors with the desired targeting molecule at each stage of the process.

Objectives: To highlight the common issues encountered in current drug delivery systems (DDSs) and the state of the art of polyurethane and polyurea polymers that self-assemble in a stratified manner by hydrophobic interactions. Finally, we discuss the importance of taking a holistic view when applying polymer nanotechnologies, in order to enhance their efficiency during preclinical and clinical studies.

Conclusions: Polyurethane-polyurea nanoparticles (PUUa NPs) emerge as suitable platforms to be manufactured in a cost-effective manner at industrial scale and following environmentally friendly synthetic methods. Furthermore, they allow the controlled delivery of a wide range of drugs and can be rapidly adapted to many clinical requirements by means of FDA-approved precursors. Additionally, the ease with which PUUa nanoparticles are biodegraded ensures control over temporal aspects of drug delivery compared to other nanosystems. These advantages make PUUa NPs attractive drug delivery vehicles as long as adequate safety and ethical guidelines for new NP formulations are developed.
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Keywords: Drug discovery; delivery systems; encapsulation; medicinal chemistry; polymers; targeting

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: January 1, 2018

This article was made available online on December 4, 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "On the Importance of Polyurethane and Polyurea Nanosystems for Future Drug Delivery".

More about this publication?
  • The aim of Current Drug Delivery is to publish peer-reviewed articles, short communications, short and in-depth reviews in the rapidly developing field of drug delivery. Modern drug research aims to build in delivery properties of a drug at the design phase, however in many cases this ideal cannot be met and the development of delivery systems becomes as important as the development as the drugs themselves.

    The journal aims to cover the latest outstanding developments in drug and vaccine delivery employing physical, physico-chemical and chemical methods. The drugs include a wide range of bioactive compounds from simple pharmaceuticals to peptides, proteins, nucleotides, nucleosides and sugars. The journal will also report progress in the fields of transport routes and mechanisms including efflux proteins and multi-drug resistance.

    The journal is essential for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug design, development and delivery.
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