Currently, most diseases are treated with advanced molecular biology strategies and drugs. Due to their susceptibility to degradation and deactivation, it is recommended that the drugs are loaded in a protective packaging – or matrix – until the moment of release. Drug delivery systems control the drug release rate and release location in the body. These systems will have the ability to treat diseases locally and more effectively, preventing non-specific and harmful interaction with healthy tissues and decreasing the amount of drug dose required. To allow a localized and improved control on drug release, newer drug delivery systems focus on implantable nano-scaled delivery devices.
Electrospinning allows for the creation of such porous, fibrous nano to micron sized structures, in a very controlled and reproducible way. Several techniques can be used to incorporate drugs or biomolecules in electro spun nanofibers, including direct dissolution into the polymer solution, emulsion electrospinning, co-axial electrospinning, by supramolecular interactions or via post-processing techniques. Recent studies have shown that electro spun fibers with inherently high surface area to volume ratio and high interconnectivity have a number of benefits, including high drug loading efficiency, the ability to overcome mass transfer limitations associated with most polymeric delivery systems, the facilitation of drug diffusion and improvement of solubility of various bioactive molecules. Moreover, encapsulation of these bioactive molecules into electro spun fibers allows for localized and sustainable delivery of for example antimicrobials, anti-inflammatories, anti-scarring agents, antineoplastic agents, immunosuppressives, growth factors, cytokines, genes (DNA and RNA), enzymes, and a number of other important bioactive ingredients to the target sites.
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