Analytical techniques for faster development of drug delivery systems

The challenge of efficiently delivering a drug to its site of action, while maintaining its efficacy and minimising its potential toxicity, has received much attention in recent years, with the growing use of complex and often delicate biological molecules as therapeutic agents…

drug delivery

This challenge is not, however, confined to biologics, and the development of enhanced or novel targeted delivery systems for a wide variety of drugs continues apace.

Targeting the delivery of a drug to its intended site of action has many benefits. It may, for example, enhance its therapeutic action, reduce the required dosage or, by confining its distribution, limit toxic effects elsewhere. One particularly fruitful area of current research is the use of submicron particles to deliver therapeutic agents, and here, both organic and inorganic materials have roles to play. Another field attracting considerable research attention is that of polymer-based therapeutic delivery systems. Whatever the fine detail of the systems in development, access to appropriate analytical tools with outputs that support informed and insightful decision-making is crucial for success.

This article looks at examples of advanced drug delivery systems, and profiles three widely-used and complementary analytical technologies: dynamic light scattering (DLS), nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA), and gel permeation/size exclusion chromatography (GPC/SEC), with examples of specific applications in the innovation of drug delivery systems.

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