Self assembling nanocomposites for protein delivery: Supramolecular interactions of soluble polymers with protein drugs


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Abstract

Translation of therapeutic proteins to pharmaceutical products is often encumbered by their inadequate physicochemical and biopharmaceutical properties, namely low stability and poor bioavailability. Over the last decades, several academic and industrial research programs have been focused on development of biocompatible polymers to produce appropriate formulations that provide for enhanced therapeutic performance. According to their physicochemical properties, polymers have been exploited to obtain a variety of formulations including biodegradable microparticles, 3-dimensional hydrogels, bioconjugates and soluble nanocomposites. Several soluble polymers bearing charges or hydrophobic moieties along the macromolecular backbone have been found to physically associate with proteins to form soluble nanocomplexes. Physical complexation is deemed a valuable alternative tool to the chemical bioconjugation. Soluble protein/polymer nanocomplexes formed by physical specific or unspecific interactions have been found in fact to possess peculiar physicochemical, and biopharmaceutical properties. Accordingly, soluble polymeric systems have been developed to increase the protein stability, enhance the bioavailability, promote the absorption across the biological barriers, and prolong the protein residence in the bloodstream. Furthermore, a few polymers have been found to favour the protein internalisation into cells or boost their immunogenic potential by acting as immunoadjuvant in vaccination protocols.

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