Plga As A Polymer For Nanoparticles

A number of different polymers, both synthetic and natural, have been utilized in formulating biodegradable nanoparticles. Synthetic polymers have the advantage of sustaining the release of the encapsulated therapeutic agent over a period of days to several weeks as compared to natural polymers which, in general, have a relatively short duration of drug release. The polymers used for the formulation of nanoparticles include synthetic polymers such as polylactide-polyglycolide copolymers, polyacrylates, and polycaprolactones, or natural polymers such as albumin, gelatin, alginate, collagen, and chitosan. Of these polymers, polylactides (PLA) and poly (D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) have been most extensively investigated for drug delivery applications.19 PLGA/PLA-based polymers have a number of advantages over other polymers used in drug and gene delivery, such as their biodegradability, biocompatibility, and approval by the FDA for human use.19,25 PLGA/PLA polymers degrade in the body through hydrolytic cleavage of the ester linkage to lactic and glycolic acid, although there are reports of involvement of enzymes in their biode-gradation.19,25 These monomers are easily metabolized in the body via Krebs' cycle and eliminated as carbon dioxide and water. Biodegradation products of PLGA and PLA polymers are formed at a very slow rate, and they therefore do not affect normal cell function.26 Furthermore, these polymers have been tested for toxicity and safety in extensive animal studies and are currently used in humans for resorbable sutures, bone implants and screws, contraceptive implants,27,28 and also as graft materials for artificial organs and supporting scaffolds in tissue engineering research.28-30 Long-term biocompatibility of these polymers was demonstrated by the absence of any untoward effects on intravascular administration of nanoparticles formulated using these polymers to the arterial tissue in pig and rat models of restenosis.31

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