Dextran: A promising macromolecular drug carrier
Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University, Poona College of Pharmacy and Research Center, Erandwane, Pune-411 038, India
Suneela S Dhaneshwar Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University, Poona College of Pharmacy and Research Center, Erandwane, Pune-411 038 India
Over the past three decades intensive efforts have been made to design novel systems able to deliver the drug more effectively to the target site. The ongoing intense search for novel and innovative drug delivery systems is predominantly a consequence of the well-established fact that the conventional dosage forms are not sufficiently effective in conveying the drug compound to its site of action and once in the target area, in releasing the active agent over a desired period of time. The potential use of macromolecular prodrugs as a means of achieving targeted drug delivery has attracted considerable interest in recent years. Macromolecules such as antibodies, lipoproteins, lectins, proteins, polypeptides, polysaccharides, natural as well as synthetic polymers offer potential applicabilities as high molecular weight carriers for various therapeutically active compounds. Dextrans serve as one of the most promising macromolecular carrier candidates for a wide variety of therapeutic agents due to their excellent physico-chemical properties and physiological acceptance. The present contribution attempts to review various features of the dextran carrier like its source, structural and physico-chemical characteristics, pharmacokinetic fate and its applications as macromolecular carrier with special emphasis on dextran prodrugs.