PLGA: From a classic drug carrier to a novel therapeutic activity contributor

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Poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) is well known for its biocompatibility and minimal toxicity. It is one of the most promising biodegradable polymeric drug delivery systems able to get endorsement from regulatory bodies to enter market. For many decades, PLGA has been functioning as an excipient, which by definition is pharmaceutically inert at a given dose of formulation. Lactate (one of the hydrolysis products of PLGA) has a key role in biochemical pathways and could improve physiological activities in certain illnesses by exerting therapeutic effects such as angiogenesis and promotion of healing. These activities, however, depend on the released amounts and metabolic clearance of lactate and route of formulation delivery. In the current commentary, along with several key notes on the lactate interactions, we would like to inform the PLGA research community that lactate (resulting from local delivery of physiologically significant amount of PLGA) may positively or negatively affect therapeutic efficacy of certain drugs. Hence, the excipient role of PLGA may be investigated for its potential pharmacological contributions in some biomedical applications.

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