The use of water-soluble polymers of natural, semisynthetic, and synthetic origin for dermal and transdermal drug delivery systems is manifold. Among the most used biopolymers in the formulation of skin preparations, the cellulose ether derivatives as representatives of semisynthetic polymers distinguish through their specific physicochemical properties, by which the pharmacist can select the appropriate cellulose derivative for a particular purpose. The hydrogels containing cellulose derivatives as gelling agents are widely used as water-soluble ointment bases, because they usually associate the characteristics of both conventional and innovative hydrogels, including especially safety, biocompatibility, biodegradability, and a relatively easy way of preparation and low price. The present chapter describes the following issues: the physicochemical properties of water-soluble cellulose derivatives in relationship with their type and grade; physical and chemical properties of cellulose-derivatives-based hydrogels and their compatibility with other auxiliary substances commonly used in the formulation of pharmaceutical hydrogels; the development and manufacturing of these hydrogels on both small and large scales; the characterization of cellulose derivatives hydrogels as pharmaceutical dosage forms through different compendial and noncompendial methods; and well-recognized and novel applications of cellulose-derivatives-based hydrogels for dermal and transdermal drug delivery.
Part of the book: Emerging Concepts in Analysis and Applications of Hydrogels