Biodegradable microspheres are novel targeted drug delivery systems which are increasingly popular in drug design
Chief among the advantages of microspheres is their ability to introduce a wide range of small molecules into the body—but their versatility is just one facet of their attractiveness for delivery of drug compounds. Here are seven additional advantages of microspheres.
Drug action duration depends on a range of interconnected factors, including the pharmaceutical preparation and the drug’s half-life. Encapsulating therapeutic agents in biodegradable polymeric microspheres can prolong a drug’s effect by creating an intimate connection at the site of action, or by maximising bioretention. Different types of microspheres naturally have different methods of extending their therapeutic effect.
Extending bioretention times allows dosage frequency to be reduced, which has an enormous effect on patient compliance. Dose omissions are one of the main forms of noncompliance among patients. Reducing dose frequency may therefore lead to better overall adherence – but this isn’t always pharmacologically possible nor clinically appropriate. Microsphere drug delivery technology offers an avenue for controlled release systems with high-efficacy, reduced dosage regimens.
What makes microspheres unique is their sphericity and small particle size, which is ideal for entrapping small molecules and turning a single drug dose into multiple tiny unit dosage forms. This can dramatically improve clinical efficacy by modulating absorption in a more reproducible manner.
Microsphere-based delivery of drug compounds is incredibly versatile. It can be deployed in a growing range of applications, including depot injections. The slow, controlled release of a depot injection has extremely high affinity with the unique properties that make microspheres so effective.
Microspheres also allow for significantly reduced excipient materials in drug products. Pharmaceutical excipients are associated with a host of adverse side effects, whether resulting from the use of an obviously toxic inactive ingredient or accidental excipient overdose when unusually large drug dosages are needed.
Environmental factors can alter drug metabolism, causing a premature release known as dose dumping. This can cause a range of side effects, including drug-induced toxicity. Using spherical particles for encapsulating and delivering drugs not only yields greater release properties and bioavailability, but enhanced environmental stability. Among the many advantageous and unique properties of microspheres for drug delivery is a reduced dose dumping phenomena.
A growing range of natural and synthetic polymers are used to engineer microsphere drug formulations, with biodegradable solutions emerging to overcome constraints placed upon the clinical application of certain materials. Biodegradable microspheres are a powerhouse of drug delivery technology, as they unite all the advantages with the enhanced engineering properties of polymers, and the added benefit of biodegradability.