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J Control Release. 2014 Sep 28;190:3-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2014.03.054. Epub 2014 Apr 30.

Controlled drug delivery systems: past forward and future back.

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Purdue University, Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Pharmaceutics, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA. Electronic address:


Controlled drug delivery technology has progressed over the last six decades. This progression began in 1952 with the introduction of the first sustained release formulation. The 1st generation of drug delivery (1950-1980) focused on developing oral and transdermal sustained release systems and establishing controlled drug release mechanisms. The 2nd generation (1980-2010) was dedicated to the development of zero-order release systems, self-regulated drug delivery systems, long-term depot formulations, and nanotechnology-based delivery systems. The latter part of the 2nd generation was largely focused on studying nanoparticle formulations. The Journal of Controlled Release (JCR) has played a pivotal role in the 2nd generation of drug delivery technologies, and it will continue playing a leading role in the next generation. The best path towards a productive 3rd generation of drug delivery technology requires an honest, open dialog without any preconceived ideas of the past. The drug delivery field needs to take a bold approach to designing future drug delivery formulations primarily based on today's necessities, to produce the necessary innovations. The JCR provides a forum for sharing the new ideas that will shape the 3rd generation of drug delivery technology.


Depot formulations; Evolution of drug delivery; Modulated delivery; Smart polymers; Targeted delivery

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