Drug Delivery

To be published November 2017
Prof. Vladimir P. Torchilin
Northeastern University, USA

Drug delivery deals with approaches, formulations, technologies, and systems for transporting a pharmaceutical compound in the body to/into the desired area/organ/tissue in order to achieve the optimal therapeutic response with minimal side-effects. The use of drug delivery systems (pharmaceutical carriers) aims to achieve specific site targeting within the body, or... read moreimprove/optimize pharmacokinetics. Drug delivery could be controlled by the drug's chemical formulation, and may also involve various carrier systems or devices.
Drug delivery technologies modify a broad spectrum of drug pharmacological properties, such as release profile, absorption, distribution and elimination, to provide maximal efficacy and safety. Most common routes of administration include oral, topical, transmucosal, and inhalation routes. Many biologically unstable (easily degradable) drugs, such as protein and peptide drugs, require special precautions and means for the administration.
Current efforts in the area of drug delivery include the development of site-specific or targeted delivery, when the drug is only active in the target area of the body (such as tumors), controlled release formulations, and methods to increase the stability of biologically-active compounds, which can easily be inactivated/degraded in the body (genes, siRNA, vaccines etc.).
In this course, all major questions related to drug delivery are considered – from general subjects explaining the need for drug delivery systems to the routes for drug delivery, materials used for developing drug delivery systems, specifics of delivery of various types of drugs, and peculiarities of drug delivery in various types of pathologies.