Potential of Natural Biomaterials in Nano-scale Drug Delivery

Houacine, Chahinez, Yousaf, Sakib orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-7010-4663, Khan, Iftikhar, Khurana, Rajneet Kaur and Singh, Kamalinder orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-7325-0711 (2019) Potential of Natural Biomaterials in Nano-scale Drug Delivery. Current Pharmaceutical Design, 24 (43). pp. 5188-5206. ISSN 1381-6128

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.2174/1381612825666190118153057


Background: The usage of natural biomaterials or naturally derived materials intended for interface with biological systems has steadily increased in response to the high demand of amenable materials, which are suitable for purpose, biocompatible and biodegradable. There are many naturally derived polymers which overlap in terms of purpose as biomaterials but are equally diverse in their applications.

Methods: This review examines the applications of the following naturally derived polymers; hyaluronic acid, silk fibroin, chitosan, collagen and tamarind polysaccharide (TSP); further focusing on the biomedical applications of each as well as emphasising on individual novel applications.

Results: Each of the polymer was found to demonstrate a wide variety of successful biomedical applications fabricated as wound dressings, scaffolds, matrices, films, sponges, implants or hydrogels to suit the therapeutic need. Interestingly, blending and amelioration of polymer structures were but two of a selection of strategies to modify the functionality of the polymers to suit the purpose. Further these polymers have shown promise to deliver small molecule drugs, proteins and genes as nano-scale delivery systems.

Conclusion: The review highlights the breadth and depth of applications of the aforementioned polymers as biomaterials. Hyaluronic acid, silk fibroin, chitosan, collagen and TSP have been successfully utilised as biomaterials in the subfields of implant enhancement, wound management, drug delivery, tissue engineering and nanotechnology. Whilst there are a number of associated advantages (i.e. biodegradability, biocompatibility, non-toxic, non-antigenic as well as amenability) the select disadvantages of each individual polymer provide significant scope for their further exploration and overcoming challenges like feasibility of mass production at a relatively low cost.

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