Applications of Drug Delivery System


Applications of Drug Delivery System

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Colonic drug delivery can be used to treat various types of diseases. Therefore, the best candidates for colon targeting are active agents that display less absorption from the upper portion of the gastrointestinal tract. Colonic-targeted drug delivery is useful for the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases. In this case, the systems have been developed using pH-dependent delivery, enzyme-dependent delivery (for prodrugs, matrices, and coatings), pulsatile time-dependent delivery, and pressure-dependent delivery approaches. Nowadays, some of these approaches are being used together. It is possible to combine pH and microbial dependence with pulsatile time delivery. For example, a tablet core of lactulose coated with an acid-soluble polymer is recoated with an enteric polymer.

This last coating protects the tablet from the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract and dissolves in the small intestine. When the formulation comes into contact with the colonic fluid, polysaccharide (lactulose) is enzymatically degraded by the colonic microfloras into organic acid. The pH around the formulation decreases and the release of the active agent takes place due to the dissolution of the acid-soluble coating. Osmotically controlled drug delivery systems can be developed for the colon. In this case, a semi-permeable membrane with an osmotic agent and the active agent are used to deliver the drug to the colonic region. An orifice is drilled through the membrane next to the drug layer. This membrane is then coated with an enteric-coated polymer to prevent the drug from being released in the upper gastrointestinal tract. The enteric polymer dissolves due to the higher pH of the small intestine. The water moves toward the core, increasing the volume within the osmotic compartment, forcing the active agent out of the devices through the delivery, as previously discussed for osmotic pumps.