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Expert Opin Drug Deliv. 2005 May;2(3):489-505.

Organogels in drug delivery.

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Department of Pharmaceutics, The School of Pharmacy, University of London, 29-39 Brunswick Square, London WC1N 1AX, UK.


In the last decade, interest in physical organogels has grown rapidly with the discovery and synthesis of a very large number of diverse molecules, which can gel organic solvents at low concentrations. The gelator molecules immobilise large volumes of liquid following their self-assembly into a variety of aggregates such as rods, tubules, fibres and platelets. The many interesting properties of these gels, such as their thermoreversibility, have led to much excitement over their industrial applications. However, only a few organogels are currently being studied as drug/vaccine delivery vehicles as most of the existing organogels are composed of pharmaceutically unacceptable organic liquids and/or unacceptable/untested gelators. In this paper a brief overview of organogels is presented, followed by a more in-depth review of the gels that have been investigated for drug and/or vaccine delivery. These include microemulsion-based gels and lecithin gels (studied for transdermal delivery), sorbitan monostearate organogels and amphiphilogels (studied as vaccine adjuvants and for oral and transdermal drug delivery, respectively), gels composed of alanine derivatives (investigated as in situ forming gels) and Eudragit organogels (studied as a matrix for suppositories). Finally, pluronic lecithin organogels, descendents of lecithin gels but which are not really organogels, are briefly discussed for their interesting history, their root and the wide interest in these systems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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