Background: This review provides a report on recent advances in the field of drug release
from matrixes made of natural polymers. Herein, the properties of natural polymers such as proteins
and polysaccharides are discussed in general. Selected detailed examples of drug release profiles from
biopolymer matrixes have also been collected from scientific literature and practical work, and commented
on. In this review, the most common natural polymers, i.e. collagen, elastin, chitosan,
hyaluronic acid and sodium alginate have been discussed as biopolymers that can be potentially applied
in drug delivery systems.
Methodology: The most rapidly developing field of the biomaterials science is the one dealing with
their application as matrixes in drug release systems. Such systems show numerous advantages when
compared to conventional ones. They improve medical treatment efficiency due to the fact that drugs
are placed directly into the infected part. Moreover, the drug release systems reduce toxic reactions because
the drug does not pass through the body and, as a result, does not affect the healthy tissues. Such
systems also improve the patient’s comfort during the treatment.
Result: Biocompatibility, bioresorbability and non-toxicity are the significant properties characteristic
for natural polymers. Natural polymers can be used to obtain biomaterials which can further find their
applications in the production of bones or soft tissues implants as well as dressing materials placed on
damaged skin. Nevertheless, the disadvantages of biomaterials made of natural polymers, e.g., high
solubility and low thermal stability, limit the range of their potential applications. Therefore, it is necessary
to modify material properties by carrying out the cross-linking process.
Conclusion: Recently, a rapidly growing interest in the use of porous materials as controlled drug delivery
matrixes has been observed since they present several positive features. The drug release from
polymeric matrixes is based on the carrier degradation process which depends on dissolving and diffusion
processes. The selection of a polymeric matrix depends on its compatibility with the drug as well
as the manufacturing process which needs to be considered. The proper adjustment of the drug release
rate is necessary to obtain the best results during medical treatment. Numerous classes of hydrophilic as
well as hydrophobic drugs can be released from polymeric matrixes which is beneficial to medical
treatment. The research of different drug release systems has already been carried out, and the results
can be found in scientific literature.