Material Nature and Physicochemical Properties for High Performance of Carriers

  • Jin ChenEmail author
  • Ling Chen
  • Fengwei Xie
  • Xiaoxi Li


As drugs are not inherently effective, the benefits of their treatment are closely related to the performance of drug delivery carriers. Given this, the interactions and stimulus responsiveness of the carrier materials within the human body play an important role in the performance of smart drug delivery systems (DDSs). Stimulated by advances in polymer materials, the stimulus responsiveness of drug carriers can be achieved by incorporating “to be triggered” constituting units or compositions within their own structure to acquire specific physicochemical properties. Thus, drugs can be released under specific stimuli resulting from the chemical degradation and physical conformation change of carriers. Another way to achieve stimulus responsiveness is to take advantage of drug–carrier interactions, whether they are chemical bonds or physical interactions. Once these drug–carrier interactions are broken or weakened, the drug will be released with responsiveness. On the other hand, the drug delivery efficiency of DDSs, especially target specificity, can be modulated by the physicochemical properties of carriers (e.g., hydrophobicity/hydrophilicity, size, shape, and surface charge) directing their interactions with tissues, cells, and biomacromolecules. By choosing appropriate materials of carriers and adjusting their structure and physicochemical properties, the well-controlled drug delivery and release of the therapeutics from carriers can be realized.


Fabrication materials strategy Stimulus-responsive modality Chemical degradation Physical conformation Particle size Surface features 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Guangdong Province Key Laboratory for Green Processing of Natural Products and Product Safety, School of Food Science and Engineering, Ministry of Education Engineering Research Center of Starch and Protein ProcessingSouth China University of TechnologyGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.International Institute for Nanocomposites Manufacturing (IINM), WMGUniversity of WarwickCoventryUK

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