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Ionic liquids for preparation of biopolymer materials for drug/gene delivery: A review


Biopolymers are particularly suitable for drug applications due to their biocompatibility, biodegradability and low immunogenicity. There has been growing interest in using biopolymers to achieve the controlled release of therapeutics. However, the solubility and processability of biopolymers remain to be challenging due to their structural heterogeneity and dense networks of inter- and intramolecular interactions. Fortunately, ionic liquids (ILs), regarded as green solvents, have been increasingly appreciated for their unparalleled power for biopolymer processing. By dissolution of biopolymers in ILs, various materials including sponges, films, microparticles (MPs), nanoparticles (NPs), and aerogels can be generated as potential drug delivery carriers. Besides, ILs can be used as reaction mediums and/or catalysts for biopolymer chemical reactions, which shows enhanced reaction efficiency. In addition, because of their unique physicochemical (e.g., polarity, hydrophobicity, amphipathicity) and biological properties (e.g., antibacterial activity), ILs can assist or participate in the formation of drug delivery carriers. To cover all these aspects of research, this review provides an overview of the recent progress in using ILs for the engineering of next-generation drug/gene delivery carrier materials. The tunable properties of ILs as affected by their structure are highlighted. Also, the key principles, challenges and prospects in this area are presented.

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Publication details

The article was received on 10 Apr 2018, accepted on 07 Aug 2018 and first published on 07 Aug 2018

Article type: Tutorial Review
DOI: 10.1039/C8GC01120F
Citation: Green Chem., 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    Ionic liquids for preparation of biopolymer materials for drug/gene delivery: A review

    J. Chen, F. Xie, L. Chen and X. Li, Green Chem., 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C8GC01120F

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