Drug-releasing implants: current progress, challenges and perspectives
The need for more efficient drug delivery strategies to treat resilient diseases and the rise of micro and nanotechnology have led to the development of more sophisticated drug-releasing implants with improved capabilities and performances for localised and controlled therapies. In recent years, implantable drug-releasing systems have emerged as an outstanding alternative to conventional clinical therapies. This new breed of implants has shown promising capabilities to overcome the inherent problems of conventional implants and therapies, making clinical treatments more efficient with minimal side effects. Recent clinical trials have demonstrated that this technology can improve the life of patients and increase their life expectancy. Within this context, this review is aimed at highlighting the different types and concepts of drug-releasing implants incorporating new nanomaterials and nanotechnology-based devices. Furthermore, the principles on which these drug-releasing implants are based as well as their advantages and limitations are discussed in detail. Finally, we provide a future perspective in the development of implantable clinical drug-delivery systems based on micro and nanotechnology.