Polyelectrolyte multilayering: an emerging class of carriers for therapeutic agents
Polyelectrolyte multilayers (PEMs) are promising drug carriers with potential applications in the delivery of poorly soluble drugs. In this article, Sumayah Abdul-Jabbar and Paul Royall discuss the approaches for PEM construction and drug release and detail several applications of multilayered particles in therapeutics.
A POPULAR APPROACH to solubilise poorly soluble drugs is encapsulating them within polymers by forming micelles or liposomes.1 However, there are limitations associated with these carriers, such as low-loading efficiency of the drug, difficulties with scaling up and inadequate storage stability. PEMs are novel vesicles that have proved to be promising drug delivery vehicles for drug encapsulation.3 PEMs are designed by the stepwise deposition of polymer layers; therefore, particles can be tailored during fabrication to vary properties. This enables the formulation of versatile materials with multiple functionalities and a variety of properties.4 In addition to drug delivery, they are used in bio-sensing, regenerative medicine, tissue engineering, bio-mimetics research5 and diagnostic and theranostic applications.6 The European patent office holds patent applications for the use of PEMs in biosensors (priority number: KR20090041461 20090513) as well as in controlled and sustained release (priority number: EP20000118615 20000828).