Therapeutic applications of viscous and injectable poly(ortho esters)

Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2001 Dec 3;53(1):45-73. doi: 10.1016/s0169-409x(01)00220-4.


Poly(ortho esters) (POE) are hydrophobic and bioerodible polymers that have been investigated for pharmaceutical use since the early 1970s. Among the four described generations of POE, the third (POE III) and fourth (POE IV) are promising viscous and injectable materials which have been investigated in numerous biomedical applications. POE III has been extensively studied for ophthalmic drug delivery, it presents an excellent biocompatibility and is currently being investigated as a vehicle for sustained drug delivery to treat diseases of the posterior segment of the eye. POE IV is distinguishable by a highly reproducible and controlled synthesis, a higher hydrophobicity, and an excellent biocompatibility. It is currently under development for a variety of applications, such as ocular delivery, periodontal disease treatment and applications in veterinary medicine. This review will also focus on new perspectives for this promising family of polymers, such as guided tissue regeneration, treatment of osteoarthritis, as well as peptide and protein delivery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biocompatible Materials / chemistry
  • Biocompatible Materials / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods
  • Humans
  • Injections / methods
  • Polymers / chemistry
  • Polymers / therapeutic use*
  • Viscosity


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Polymers
  • poly(ortho ester)