Polysaccharide-based aerogels - Promising biodegradable carriers for drug delivery systems
Polysaccharides are regarded as key ingredients for the production of bio-based materials in life sciences (e.g., food, cosmetics, medical devices, pharmaceutics). The biodegradability and biocompatibility of these biopolymers, coupled to the large variety of chemical functionalities they encompass, make them promising carriers for drug delivery systems. Aerogels are a special class of nanoporous materials with growing interest in biomedical and pharmaceutical applications due to their open pore structure and high surface area. Polysaccharide-based aerogels result in highly porous (ε = 90-99%), lightweight (ρ = 0.07-0.46 g/cm3) drug carriers with high surface area (Sa = 70-680 m2/g), able to provide enhanced drug bioavailability and drug loading capacity. This review focuses on the state-of-the-art of the production of polysaccharide-based aerogels with emphasis on the influence of processing parameters on the resulting end material properties. Case studies on polysaccharide-based aerogels from several sources and own results as well as their behavior regarding drug loading capacity and release are described.
Nanoporous bio-based material
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C.A. García-González acknowledges the Spanish Ministry of Education for the financial support through a postdoctoral fellowship in the frame of the National Program for Staff Mobility from the R&D&i National Plan 2008–2011.