Background: Molecularly imprinted polymers (MIP) are novel carriers synthesized by imprinting
of a template over a polymer. This paper presents the recent application of MIP for diagnostic
and therapeutic drug delivery.
Overview: MIP owing to their 3D polymeric structures and due to bond formation with the template
serves as a reservoir of active causing stimuli sensitive, enantioselective, targetted and/or controlled
release. The review elaborates about key factors for optimization of MIP, controlled release by MIP
for various administration routes various forms like patches, contact lenses, nanowires along with
illustrations. To overcome the limitation of organic solvent usage causing increased cost, water
compatible MIP and use of supercritical fluid technology for molecular imprinting were developed.
Novel methods for developing water compatible MIP like pickering emulsion polymerization,
co-precipitation method, cyclodextrin imprinting, surface grafting, controlled/living radical chain polymerization methods
are described with illustration in this review. Various protein imprinting methods like bulk, epitope and surface imprinting
are described along with illustrations. Further, application of MIP in microdevices as biomimetic sensing element for personalized
therapy is elaborated.
Conclusion: Although development and application of MIP in drug delivery is still at its infancy, constant efforts of researchers
will lead to a novel intelligent drug delivery with commercial value. Efforts should be directed in developing
solid oral dosage forms consisting of MIP for therapeutic protein and peptide delivery and targeted release of potent drugs
addressing life threatening disease like cancer. Amalgamation of bio-engineering and pharmaceutical techniques can make
these future prospects into reality.