Submitted to: Cellulose
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: September 26, 2006
Publication Date: November 26, 2006
Citation: Liu, L.S., Fishman, M.L., Hicks, K.B. 2007. Pectin in controlled drug delivery. Cellulose 14:15-24. Technical Abstract: Controlled drug delivery remains a research focus for public health to enhance patient compliance, drug efficiency and to reduce the side effects of drugs. Pectin, an edible plant polysaccharide, has shown potential for the construction of drug delivery systems for site-specific drug delivery. Several pectin-derived formulations have been developed in our laboratory and tested in vitro and ex vivo for their ability to deliver bioactive substances for therapeutic purposes in the context of interactions with living tissues. Pectin derivatives carrying primary amine groups were more mucoadhesive and have shown potential in nasal drug delivery and other mucosal drug delivery. Pectin derivatives with highly esterified galacturonic acid residues are more hydrophobic and able to sustain the release of incorporated fragrances for a prolonged duration. Less esterified pectin derivatives are able to enhance penetration of volatile fragrances into the skin and may be useful in aromatherapy formulations. Pectin, in combination with zein, a corn protein, forms hydrogel beads. The bound zein restricts bead swelling and retains the porosity of the beads; the pectin networks shield the zein from protease attack. These complex beads are ideal vehicles for colon-specific drug delivery. Studies presented in this paper indicate the flexibility and possibility to tailor pectin macromolecules into a variety of drug delivery systems to meet different clinical requirements.