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Stimulus-responsive "smart" hydrogels as novel drug delivery systems.
Recently, there has been a great deal of research activity in the development of stimulus-responsive polymeric hydrogels. These hydrogels are responsive to external or internal stimuli and the response can be observed through abrupt changes in the physical nature of the network. This property can be favorable in many drug delivery applications. The external stimuli can be temperature, pH, ionic strength, ultrasonic sound, electric current, etc. A majority of the literature related to the development of stimulus-responsive drug delivery systems deals with temperature-sensitive poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide) (pNIPAAm) and its various derivatives. However, acrylic-based pH-sensitive systems with weakly acidic/basic functional groups have also been widely studied. Quite recently, glucose-sensitive hydrogels that are responsive to glucose concentration have been developed to monitor the release of insulin. The present article provides a brief introduction and recent developments in the area of stimulus-responsive hydrogels, particularly those that respond to temperature and pH, and their applications in drug delivery.
Authors, , , ,
Drug Delivery Systems
Pub Type(s)Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.