The ability to deliver therapeutic agents to a patient in a pulsatile or staggered release profile has been a major goal in drug delivery research. Smart polymeric materials display a dramatic physiochemical changes in their properties to small changes in their environment (stimuli) e.g. temperature, light, pH. This behaviour can be utilised for the preparation of ‘smart’ or ‘intelligent’ drug delivery systems, which mimic biological response behaviour to a certain extent. The present review focuses on externally (pulsatile) and internally (self regulated) controlled systems which include a range of technologies like pre-programmed systems as well as systems that are sensitive to stimuli like pH, magnetic fields, glucose, ultrasounds, electric fields, temperature, light and mechanical stimulation. Knowledge of smart polymeric material, stimuli & adaptive properties are useful to develop smart drug delivery system.
Keywords: Smart polymers, stimuli, smart drug delivery, pulsatile, self regulated, adaptive properties, Environmental stimuli, photochromic material, bioconjugated system, hypoxia, sol-gel, entropic effects, Enthalpic effects, ferrogels, Photostimulated Sysems, chromophore, hydrogel
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