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Review
. 2009 Apr;4(2):022001.
doi: 10.1088/1748-6041/4/2/022001. Epub 2009 Mar 5.

Stimuli-responsive Polymers and Their Applications in Drug Delivery

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Review

Stimuli-responsive Polymers and Their Applications in Drug Delivery

Priya Bawa et al. Biomed Mater. .

Abstract

Interest in stimuli-responsive polymers is steadily gaining increasing momentum especially in the fields of controlled and self-regulated drug delivery. Delivery systems based on these polymers are developed to closely resemble the normal physiological process of the diseased state ensuring optimum drug release according to the physiological need. Also termed 'environmental-sensitive' or 'smart', these polymers experience rapid changes in their microstructure from a hydrophilic to a hydrophobic state triggered by small changes in the environment. The changes are reversible; therefore, the polymer is capable of returning to its initial state as soon as the trigger is removed. Stimuli may occur internally (e.g. a change in pH in certain organs or diseased states, a change in temperature or the presence of specific enzymes or antigens). External stimuli include magnetic or electric fields, light, ultrasound, etc. This review will delve into the various internally and externally stimuli-responsive polymers and the drug delivery systems that exploit them.

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