Plasma treatment as an efficient tool for controlled drug release from polymeric materials: A review

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Abstract

One of the most actively developing fields in modern medicine is controlled drug delivery, an ability to keep optimal concentration of a drug at the desired body location. In particular, the most attention for potential use as drug delivery vehicles is drawn towards biodegradable polymeric materials. This is due to the versatility of tools for their fabrication, as well as due to the need to extract them after implantation being eliminated. In order to enhance polymer characteristics in terms of biocompatibility their surface can be functionalized. Plasma treatment is a method for the modification of material surface properties, which spans a wide range of applications in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. The main advantage of this method is its ability to modify a polymeric surface without altering the bulk properties of materials, thus preserving original mechanical characteristics. Moreover, plasma modification is well-known for its speed, excluded need for solvents, and scalability. Recently, this approach has been gaining popularity for drug delivery applications. The applications of plasma treatment during the fabrication of drug delivery vehicles include surface activation, enhanced wettability, the fabrication of hydrophobic barrier layer, induced cross-linking and improved drug loading. This review covers the variety of approaches, applied to different polymeric biomaterials, including non-woven meshes, films, microparticles, microneedles and tablets, in order to achieve a controlled drug release. The applications of drug delivery devices with an implemented plasma treatment modification are also described.

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