A Look at Biodegradable Polymers in Drug Delivery

biodegradable polymers

The utilization of biodegradable polymers has come a long way during the past few decades. As science and engineering continue to evolve, so do the advancements with utilizing biodegradable polymers in drug delivery. Let’s examine some key aspects.

Starting with the Basics: What Are Biodegradable Polymers?

A biodegradable polymer is engineered to deteriorate over time. These specific polymers have a high molecular weight that depreciates to a lower molecular weight after its intended function. Essentially, once these polymers have served their purpose with appropriate response from the host, they are broken down and eliminated from the body.

Biodegradable polymers are produced both naturally and synthetically. The two most common natural biodegradable polymers include proteins and polysaccharides. Synthetic biodegradable polymers consist of amides, ethers, urethanes, and other esters.

PLA and PLGA are two common biocompatible and biodegradable polymers. These FDA-approved polymers have been used in medical devices, such as microspheres. One of the major benefits of working with biodegradable polymers, such as PLA and PLGA, is that they can be used to encapsulate just about any type of drug, including:

  • Proteins
  • Peptides
  • Polypeptides
  • Small molecules

In addition to using biodegradable polymers in controlled drug delivery, they can also be used for the following applications:

  • Gene delivery
  • Wound dressings
  • Tissue regeneration and engineering
  • Cryopreservation
  • Enzyme immobilization
  • Nanotechnology
  • Orthopedic fixation devices
  • Prosthetics
  • Biomedical devices and implants
  • Cosmetics
  • Augmentation
  • Stitches

Why Are Biodegradable Polymers Effective?

Whether biodegradable polymers are natural or synthetic, they have unique biocompatible properties that allow them to decompose inside the body by natural, nontoxic byproducts such as carbon dioxide or water. One benefit to synthetic biodegradable polymers is that they can be produced with a wide range of mechanical, physical, and chemical properties that can be modified. Because these specific polymers can be synthesized by reproducing the same polymer, they have endless availability.

Naturally occurring biodegradable polymers are just as effective as synthetic in that they offer temporary support and aid in controlled release factors throughout the body. Some other major advantages of using biodegradable polymers in drug delivery include:

  • Ability to adjust the degradation rates and mechanical properties to form into various configurations
  • Decreased need for successive surgical removal, which overall saves money and time
  • Sterilizable properties that can be easily processed by the host
  • Modifiable surfaces

Biodegradable Polymers at Oakwood Labs

Oakwood Labs is a leader in the pharmaceutical industry providing manufacturing services and contract development. Our state-of-the-art technology allows us to be experts with biodegradable polymers in drug delivery.

At Oakwood labs, we utilize biodegradable polymers such as PLGA, PLA, and other polymers that demonstrate low toxicity. These biodegradable polymers are used in our long acting injectables, which are based upon our technology platform Chroniject™. Our patented microsphere technology is a polymer-based injectable microsphere system for drug delivery.

Other advantages of our technology used for biodegradable polymers in drug delivery include:

  • Sourced from multiple suppliers
  • Quick and effective development of formulations using small scale batches
  • Easily scalable formulations
  • Controlled process parameters
  • Proven lot-to-lot reproducibility
  • Molecule compatibility (peptides, proteins, and small molecules)
  • Adjustable release durations ranging from one week to one year
  • Exceptional stability
  • Immediate reconstitution with WFI with no special diluent needed
  • Versatile use in multiple therapeutic applications (neurology, CNS, ophthalmology)

Contact Us Regarding Our Biodegradable Polymers in Drug Delivery

At Oakwood Labs, we have over 20 years of experience with drug encapsulation, which has propelled us to being a leader in sustained release drug delivery. When it comes to using biodegradable polymers in drug delivery, our advanced technology provides the ability to customize release duration ranging from weeks to years.

If you’re interested in learning more about biodegradable polymers, reach out to our team today.

Mark Ilhan