Abstract: Introduction: Molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) are synthetic receptors, characterized by a high selectivity for the selected template. Among the different applications of MIPs, their use as controlled/sustained drug delivery devices has been extensively explored, even though the optimization of such devices needs to be performed before they are applied in clinical practice.
Areas covered: Within drug delivery, one of the most promising fields is the possibility to modulate the drug release profile in response to a specific external stimulus; MIPs represent potentially suitable vehicles, because of the possibility to insert a stimuli-responsive co-monomer in their structure. This review discusses recent advances in the use of external stimuli to modulate drug release, as well as the synthetic strategies devoted to increase the water compatibility of these systems, which is a base requirement for their application in biomedicine.
Expert opinion: Although it is easy to imagine imprinted polymers for biomedical applications, several aspects have to be further investigated, such as the in vivo studies, efficiency and biocompatibility. However, we think that in the next few years it will possible to see unprecedented progress in the preparation of such systems and the translational application of these intelligent structures in medicine.
Template and target information: Review - MIPs in drug delivery
Author keywords: drug delivery, drug targeting, Molecularly imprinted polymers, Stimuli-responsive materials, water compatibility