Vaginal Drug Delivery Systems to Control Microbe-Associated Infections

ACS Appl Bio Mater. 2023 Mar 18. doi: 10.1021/acsabm.3c00097. Online ahead of print.


The vagina has been regarded as a crucial route for drug delivery. Despite the wide range of available vaginal dosage forms for vaginal infection control, poor drug absorptivity remains a significant challenge due to various biological barriers in the vagina, such as mucus, epithelium, immune systems, and others. To overcome these barriers, different types of vaginal drug delivery systems (VDDSs), with outstanding mucoadhesive, mucus-penetrating properties, have been designed to enhance the absorptivity of vagina-administered agents in the past decades. In this Review, we introduce a general understanding of vaginal administration, its biological barriers, the commonly used VDDSs, such as nanoparticles and hydrogels, and their applications in controlling microbe-associated vaginal infections. Additionally, further challenges and concerns regarding the design of VDDSs will be discussed.

Keywords: biological barriers; hydrogels; microbe-associated infections; nanoparticles; vaginal drug delivery systems (VDDSs).

Publication types

  • Review