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Int J Pharm. 2001 Aug 14;224(1-2):19-38.

Polysaccharides in colon-specific drug delivery.

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University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Panjab University, Chandigarh 160 014, India.


Natural polysaccharides are now extensively used for the development of solid dosage forms for delivery of drug to the colon. The rationale for the development of a polysaccharide based delivery system for colon is the presence of large amounts of polysaccharidases in the human colon as the colon is inhabited by a large number and variety of bacteria which secrete many enzymes e.g. beta-D-glucosidase, beta-D-galactosidase, amylase, pectinase, xylanase, beta-D-xylosidase, dextranase, etc. Various major approaches utilizing polysaccharides for colon-specific delivery are fermentable coating of the drug core, embedding of the drug in biodegradable matrix, formulation of drug-saccharide conjugate (prodrugs). A large number of polysaccharides have already been studied for their potential as colon-specific drug carrier systems, such as chitosan, pectin, chondroitin sulphate, cyclodextrin, dextrans, guar gum, inulin, amylose and locust bean gum. Recent efforts and approaches exploiting these polysaccharides in colon-specific drug delivery are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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