Controlled release for local delivery of drugs: barriers and models

J Control Release. 2014 Sep 28;190:664-73. doi: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2014.04.048. Epub 2014 May 4.


Controlled release systems are an effective means for local drug delivery. In local drug delivery, the major goal is to supply therapeutic levels of a drug agent at a physical site in the body for a prolonged period. A second goal is to reduce systemic toxicities, by avoiding the delivery of agents to non-target tissues remote from the site. Understanding the dynamics of drug transport in the vicinity of a local drug delivery device is helpful in achieving both of these goals. Here, we provide an overview of controlled release systems for local delivery and we review mathematical models of drug transport in tissue, which describe the local penetration of drugs into tissue and illustrate the factors - such as diffusion, convection, and elimination - that control drug dispersion and its ultimate fate. This review highlights the important role of controlled release science in development of reliable methods for local delivery, as well as the barriers to accomplishing effective delivery in the brain, blood vessels, mucosal epithelia, and the skin.

Keywords: Controlled release; Local delivery; Pharmacokinetics; Polymer systems; Wound healing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / metabolism
  • Delayed-Action Preparations / pharmacokinetics*
  • Drug Delivery Systems*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological*
  • Models, Chemical
  • Skin Absorption


  • Delayed-Action Preparations