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Eur J Pharm Sci. 2006 Nov;29(3-4):183-97. Epub 2006 May 10.

Nanoscale analysis of protein and peptide absorption: insulin absorption using complexation and pH-sensitive hydrogels as delivery vehicles.

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  • 1Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA. <>


Recent advances in the discovery and delivery of drugs to cure chronic diseases are achieved by combination of intelligent material design with advances in nanotechnology. Since many drugs act as protagonists or antagonists to different chemicals in the body, a delivery system that can respond to the concentrations of certain molecules in the body is invaluable. For this purpose, intelligent therapeutics or "smart drug delivery" calls for the design of the newest generation of sensitive materials based on molecular recognition. Biomimetic polymeric networks can be prepared by designing interactions between the building blocks of biocompatible networks and the desired specific ligands and by stabilizing these interactions by a three-dimensional structure. These structures are at the same time flexible enough to allow for diffusion of solvent and ligand into and out of the networks. Synthetic networks that can be designed to recognize and bind biologically significant molecules are of great importance and influence a number of emerging technologies. These synthetic materials can be used as unique systems or incorporated into existing drug delivery technologies that can aid in the removal or delivery of biomolecules and restore the natural profiles of compounds in the body.

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