Catanionic systems in nanotherapeutics – Biophysical aspects and novel trends in drug delivery applications

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Mixtures of surfactants can result in formation of various structures like micelles, vesicles and inverted micelles. Catanionic vesicular systems are preferred on account of their ease of formation and thermodynamic stability. Furthermore, their charge and surfactant properties render them as useful vehicles for DNA delivery and cytotoxic compounds. They suffer from disadvantages of being leaky and yielding low encapsulation efficiencies which are averse to drug delivery purposes. Extensive efforts are being undertaken to overcome these barriers and render these vesicles amenable to spatial placement and temporal delivery of drugs. This manuscript addresses diverse aspects of catanionic vesicles including their formation, fabrication and stability. The manuscript focuses further on applications of catanionic vesicles in nanodrug delivery. Novel trends in the field of catanionics with respect to bio-compatibility and novel technologies developed using these systems have also been reviewed. An attempt has been made to compile catanionic systems reported in literature detailing surfactants and therapeutic agents employed to aid understanding and yield information of various facets that drive fabrication and potential utility of these systems in therapeutics.

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