A way to avoid or minimize the side effect that could result in drug delivery to cells with increased efficiency and performance in the health rehabilitation process is to use biocompatible and biodegradable drug carriers. These are essentially biomaterials that are metallic, ceramic, or polymeric in nature. The sources of these materials must be biological in its entire ramification. The classification, synthesis, processing, and the applications to which these materials are put are the essential components of having suitable target cell drug carriers. This chapter will be devoted to discussing biomaterials suitable as drug carrier for use in the health-related matters of rehabilitation.
Part of the book: Advanced Functional Materials
Encapsulation, specifically microencapsulation is an old technology with increasing applications in pharmaceutical, agrochemical, environmental, food, and cosmetic spaces. In the past two decades, the advancements in the field of nanotechnology opened the door for applying the encapsulation technology at the nanoscale level. Nanoencapsulation is highly utilized in designing effective drug delivery systems (DDSs) due to the fact that delivery of the encapsulated therapeutic/diagnostic agents to various sites in the human body depends on the size of the nanoparticles. Compared to microencapsulation, nanoencapsulation has superior performance which can improve bioavailability, increase drug solubility, delay or control drug release and enhance active/passive targeting of bioactive agents to the sites of action. Encapsulation, either micro- or nanoencapsulation is employed for the conventional pharmaceuticals, biopharmaceuticals, biologics, or bioactive drugs from natural sources as well as for diagnostics such as biomarkers. The outcome of any encapsulation process depends on the technique employed and the encapsulating material. This chapter discusses in details (1) various physical, mechanical, thermal, chemical, and physicochemical encapsulation techniques, (2) types and classifications of natural polymers (polysaccharides, proteins, and lipids) as safer, biocompatible and biodegradable encapsulating materials, and (3) the recent advances in using lipids for therapeutic and diagnostic applications. Polysaccharides and proteins are covered in the second part of this chapter.
Part of the book: Nano- and Microencapsulation
Biomaterials are constructed to promote or stimulate the processes of wound healing. Polymeric biomaterials can be used to hydrate the wound and serve as barrier to pathogens with plant extracts, antimicrobial agents and extracellular components incorporated to stimulate the healing process. The biological and physical augmentation provided by extracellular matrix derived implants continues facilitate innovation in biomaterials utilized in management of nonhealing wounds. Tissue-processing methodologies can birth extracellular matrix-based devices with characteristic post-implantation responses ranging from the classic foreign body encapsulation of a permanent implant, to one where the implant is degraded and resorbed, to one where the processed extracellular matrix implant is populated by local fibroblasts and supporting vasculature to produce, a viable and metabolically active tissue. Extracellular matrix components and plant extracts have been shown to possesses pharmacological properties with potential for use in the treatment of skin diseases and wound healing. Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory assays, and wound healing assays have been shown to support the dermatological and wound healing usage of these medicinal plants extracts.
Part of the book: Recent Advances in Wound Healing