Administration, distribution, metabolism and elimination of polymer therapeutics

J Control Release. 2012 Jul 20;161(2):446-60. doi: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2011.12.021. Epub 2011 Dec 29.


Polymer conjugation is an efficient approach to improve the delivery of drugs and biological agents, both by protecting the body from the drug (by improving biodistribution and reducing toxicity) and by protecting the drug from the body (by preventing degradation and enhancing cellular uptake). This review discusses the journey that polymer therapeutics make through the body, following the ADME (absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion) concept. The biological factors and delivery system parameters that influence each stage of the process will be described, with examples illustrating the different solutions to the challenges of drug delivery systems in vivo.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drug Carriers / pharmacokinetics*
  • Humans
  • Polymers / pharmacokinetics*


  • Drug Carriers
  • Polymers