Nanogels as Pharmaceutical Carriers
Nanogels are nanosized networks of chemically or physically cross-linked polymers that swell in a good solvent. The term “nanogel” (NanoGel™) was first introduced by us to define cross-linked bifunctional networks of a polyion and a nonionic polymer for delivery of polynucleotides (cross-linked polyethyleneimine (PEI) and poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) or PEG-cl-PEI) (Lemieux et al., 2000; Vinogradov et al., 1999). However, some other studies also described nanoparticles of polymeric hydrogels. For example, work by Akiyoshi and Sunamoto proposed nanosized swollen aggregates of cholesterol-modified polysaccharide (pullulan) for delivery of insulin (Akiyoshi et al., 1998). Altogether, nanogels represent a novel family of nanoscale materials for delivery drugs, genes, and imaging agents. Publications using nanogels in pharmaceutics and nanomedicine have greatly increased after 2002 (Fig. 1), when the first review on this subject was published (Vinogradov et al., 2002). This demonstrates an increasing interest in nanogels by biomaterial and pharmaceutical scientists.
KeywordsAtom Transfer Radical Polymerization Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization Nucleoside Analog Inverse Microemulsion Polyelectrolyte Hydrogel
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