Colon targeted drug delivery systems have gained a great deal of attention as potential carriers for the local treatment of colonic diseases with reduced systemic side effects and also for the enhanced oral delivery of various therapeutics vulnerable to acidic and enzymatic degradation in the upper gastrointestinal tract. In recent years, the global pharmaceutical market for biologics has grown, and increasing demand for a more patient-friendly drug administration system highlights the importance of colonic drug delivery as a noninvasive delivery approach for macromolecules. Colon-targeted drug delivery systems for macromolecules can provide therapeutic benefits including better patient compliance (because they are pain-free and can be self-administered) and lower costs. Therefore, to achieve more efficient colonic drug delivery for local or systemic drug effects, various strategies have been explored including pH-dependent systems, enzyme-triggered systems, receptor-mediated systems, and magnetically-driven systems. In this review, recent advancements in various approaches for designing colon targeted drug delivery systems and their pharmaceutical applications are covered with a particular emphasis on formulation technologies.
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