Drug Delivery: Localized and Systemic Therapeutic Strategies with Polymer Systems

  • Scott CampbellEmail author
  • Niels Smeets
Living reference work entry
Part of the Polymers and Polymeric Composites: A Reference Series book series (POPOC)


This chapter expands upon some of the basic concepts regarding drug delivery and takes a tour through various regions of the body that are commonly treated locally with controlled release systems, investigating current research and commercial strategies involving the use of polymeric systems within each region after briefly describing the biology and the typical biological targets of each region. This section includes drug delivery throughout the gastrointestinal tract and to the skin, lungs, brain, and eye, along with several others. The use of polymeric materials for systemic controlled release is then briefly described and thoroughly investigated in a case study on the most common target of systemically delivered nanomedicines: cancer. The chapter concludes with a perspective on where the field of drug delivery is headed in the future.

List of Abbreviations


Age-related macular degeneration


Alternating magnetic field


Adsorptive-mediated transcytosis


Antigen-presenting cells




Blood-brain barrier




Blood-retinal barrier


Central nervous system


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease




Deoxyribonucleic acid






Epidermal growth factor


Enhanced permeability and retention


Ethylene vinyl acetate


Dimers of Fabs


Antigen-binding fragments


U.S. Food and Drug Administration


Fibroblast growth factor




Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor


Hyaluronic acid


Human growth hormone


Human immunodeficiency virus


Human papillomavirus


Insulin-like growth factor


Immunoglobulin G






Lower critical solution temperature


Low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein


Methyl ether poly(ethylene glycol)


Mononuclear phagocyte system


Magnetic resonance imaging


Nanotoxicological classification system


N-Isopropyl acrylamide




Phenyl boronic acid


Poly(β-amino ester)




Platelet-derived growth factor




Poly(ethylene glycol)


Poly(ethylene imine)


Polyelectrolyte multilayers


Poly(ethylene oxide)


Poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate)


Poly(lactic acid-co-glycolic acid)


poly(methyl methacrylate)


Poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide)


Poly(oligoethylene glycol methacrylate)


Poly(propylene oxide)




Polyvinyl alcohol


Arginine-glycine-aspartic acid


Ribonucleic acid




Single-chain fragment variables


Small-interfering RNA


Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles


Glass transition temperature


Transforming growth factor




Volume phase transition temperature


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  2. 2.EcoSynthetixBurlingtonCanada

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