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J Pharm Bioallied Sci. 2011 Jan;3(1):4-14. doi: 10.4103/0975-7406.76461.

Biomembrane models and drug-biomembrane interaction studies: Involvement in drug design and development.

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1
Department of Drug Sciences, University of Catania, viale A. Doria, 6 - 95125 Catania, Italy.

Abstract

Contact with many different biological membranes goes along the destiny of a drug after its systemic administration. From the circulating macrophage cells to the vessel endothelium, to more complex absorption barriers, the interaction of a biomolecule with these membranes largely affects its rate and time of biodistribution in the body and at the target sites. Therefore, investigating the phenomena occurring on the cell membranes, as well as their different interaction with drugs in the physiological or pathological conditions, is important to exploit the molecular basis of many diseases and to identify new potential therapeutic strategies. Of course, the complexity of the structure and functions of biological and cell membranes, has pushed researchers toward the proposition and validation of simpler two- and three-dimensional membrane models, whose utility and drawbacks will be discussed. This review also describes the analytical methods used to look at the interactions among bioactive compounds with biological membrane models, with a particular accent on the calorimetric techniques. These studies can be considered as a powerful tool for medicinal chemistry and pharmaceutical technology, in the steps of designing new drugs and optimizing the activity and safety profile of compounds already used in the therapy.

KEYWORDS:

Biomembrane models; DSC; Immobilized Artificial Membrane (IAM) chromatography; cell membrane

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