GLOSSARY: Drug Delivery Systems

Drug Delivery Systems are used to deploy medications intact to specifically targeted parts of the body through a medium that can control the therapy’s administration by means of either a physiological or chemical trigger. During the past decade, polymeric microspheres, polymer micelles, and hydrogel-type materials have all been shown to be effective in enhancing drug targeting specificity, lowering systemic drug toxicity, improving treatment absorption rates, and providing protection for pharmaceuticals against biochemical degradation. In addition, several other experimental drug delivery systems show exciting signs of promise, including those composed of biodegradable polymers, dendrimers (so-called star polymers), electroactive polymers, and modified C-60 fullerenes (also known as “buckyballs”).