Hydrogel based drug delivery systems: A review with special emphasis on challenges associated with decontamination of hydrogels and biomaterials

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Journal Article
Current Drug Delivery, 2017, 14 (7), pp. 917 - 925
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© 2017 Bentham Science Publishers. Background: Many researches involving the development of new techniques and biomaterials to formulate a suitable drug delivery system and tissue engineering have been conducted. The majority of published literature from these researches emphasizes the production and materials characterization. The safety aspect of hydrogels and biomaterials is a major constraint in their biological applications. Objective: The present review article aimed to summarize various literatures that encompass the difficulties encountered with decontamination and sterilization methods in the preparations of biomaterials and especially hydrogels for biological applications. Method: We searched for original and review articles from various indexed journals reporting applications of hydrogels and biomaterials in drug delivery systems and the importance of decontamination process for hydrogel containing preparations based on various patents evidences. Results: Despite the vast literature available, limited information regarding the decontamination and sterilization processes related to hydrogels and biomaterials is reported. Sterilization processes to hydrogels are not yet fully explored. Researchers working on hydrogel based systems can consider decontamination of such biomaterial as an important tool to allow for commercialization within the chemical, herbal or pharmaceutical industries. Conclusion: Unfortunately, till date, limited papers are available which reported the challenges associated with decontamination methods to prepare hydrogels and biomaterials for biological applications. In conclusion, each case of biomaterial requires individual consideration to decontamination and/or sterilization. This must be submitted to a specific method, but more than one technique can be involved. Physicochemical and biological alterations must be avoided and evaluated by the appropriate assays method. Furthermore, it is also important to consider that each method must be validated depending upon the process variables.
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