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Polymers 2014, 6(5), 1312-1332; doi:10.3390/polym6051312
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Naturapolyceutics: The Science of Utilizing Natural Polymers for Drug Delivery

1,* , 1
 and
2
Received: 31 January 2014 / Revised: 13 March 2014 / Accepted: 8 April 2014 / Published: 5 May 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Polymers 2014)
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Abstract

Naturapolyceutics defines the emerging science and technology platform that blends natural polymers and pharmaceutics for the design and development of drug delivery systems. Natural polymers due to their biological properties, sustainability, chemical flexibility, human and eco-friendliness are promising in this field. As drug delivery advances, there will be need for more polymers. Given that polymers utilized in pharmaceuticals require regulatory approval, robust processes are undertaken to facilitate the production of pharmaceutical grade natural polymers. This review provides insight into the processes—extraction, purification, modifications and characterizations—involved in the eventual utilization of natural polymers for drug delivery. The versatility of natural polymers and particularly modified natural polymers in targeted drug delivery, micro-/nano-drug delivery, theranostics, BioMEMs and generally in research and development of highly efficient, safe and quality products is demonstrated. Natural polymers are polymers of today and tomorrow. Therefore, the shift to undertake training, extensive research and subsequent commercialization of more natural polymers—novel and underutilized—for drug delivery is now!
Keywords: biogenic; drug delivery; drug delivery systems; gum; natural polymer; naturapolyceutics; mucilage; polysaccharide; polymers; polymer modification biogenic; drug delivery; drug delivery systems; gum; natural polymer; naturapolyceutics; mucilage; polysaccharide; polymers; polymer modification
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Ngwuluka, N.C.; Ochekpe, N.A.; Aruoma, O.I. Naturapolyceutics: The Science of Utilizing Natural Polymers for Drug Delivery. Polymers 2014, 6, 1312-1332.

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