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Nanocapsules As Drug Delivery Systems

C. Mayer

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Dispersed polymer nanocapsules can serve as nano-sized drug carriers to achieve controlled release as well as efficient drug targeting. The dispersion stability and the primary physiological response are mainly determined by the type of the surfactant and the nature of the outer coating. Their release and degradation properties largely depend on the composition and the structure of the capsule walls. Another important criterion is the capsule size, where an optimum is generally seen for radii ranging between 100 and 500 nm. Nanocapsules can be prepared by four principally different approaches: interfacial polymerization, interfacial precipitation, interfacial deposition, and self assembly procedures. All these procedures offer their individual advantages and disadvantages when it comes to the design of optimized drug carrier systems. The most important capsule parameters such as capsule radius distribution, the capsule surface, the thickness and the permeability of the capsule membrane and its thermal or chemical decomposition, are discussed and examples are shown. In combination with efficient preparation procedures, nanocapsule dispersions allow for new and promising approaches in many kinds of pharmaceutical therapies.