Over the past several years, immunization and treatment of infectious diseases has undergone a paradigm shift. Stemming from the vaccine research and development, not only a large number of disease-specific vaccines have been developed, but also enormous efforts have been made to improve the effectiveness of vaccines in order to provide optimal immunization. Introduction of nanotechnology and the development of nanocarrier-based vaccines have started to receive a lot of attention in order to provide effective immunization through better targeting and by triggering antibody response at the cellular level. Also, in the past several years, attention is placed on routes of vaccine administration in order to induce both mucosal and systemic immunity against the pathogen. Through judicious selection of the nanocarrier systems and the vaccine antigen, an optimal immunization and protection can be induced. This review article focuses on the patented applications of nanocarrier-based vaccine formulations and delivery. We have examined the United States patent literature to select inventions that specifically address this strategic approach for prevention of infectious diseases.
Development of dry powder inhalers involves powder recrystallization, formulation, dispersion, delivery, and deposition of the therapeutic agent in different regions of the airways in prophylaxis/ treatment/ diagnosis of pulmonary and systemic disorders. Conventional powder production by crystallization and milling has many limitations resulting into development of alternative techniques to overcome the problems. In the last decade many patents have been filed claiming improvement in aerosol performance of dry powder inhalers through the use of (i) incorporation of fines of carrier particles to occupy active sites on the surface and use of hydrophobic carriers to facilitate deaggregation through reduced surface energy and particle interaction (ii) reducing aerodynamic diameters through particle engineering and incorporating drug into porous or low particle density, and/or (iii) preparing less cohesive and adhesive particles through corrugated surfaces, low bulk density, reduced surface energy and particle interaction and hydrophobic additives. Moisture within dry powder inhaler (DPI) products has also been shown to influence aerosol performance via capillary force and electrostatic interaction. Better understanding of particle forces and surface energy has been achieved by the use of sophisticated analytical techniques. Understanding the intricacies of particle shape and surface properties influencing specific lung deposition has been further facilitated by the availability of newer and advanced softwares. A critical review of recent patents claiming different approaches to improve lung deposition of dry powder inhalers will help in deciding the focus of the research in the area of technological gaps.
The transdermal route of drug delivery has attracted researchers due to many biomedical advantages associated with it. However, excellent impervious nature of skin is the greatest challenge that has to be overcome for successfully delivering drug molecules to the systemic circulation by this route. Various formulation approaches used to systemically deliver drug molecules include use of prodrugs/lipophilic analogs, permeation enhancers, sub saturated systems and entrapment into vesicular systems. Further, the adhesive mixture, physical system of the delivery system and release liner influence drug release and its permeation across the skin. In addition, great strides in designing delivery systems for maximizing percutaneous drug permeation without comprising with ease of therapy cannot be neglected in improving functionality of transdermal drug delivery systems. This article deals with the innovations pertaining to formulation and techniques as described in recent patents.
Intense research has led to a more comprehensive understanding of cancer at the genetic, molecular, and cellular levels providing an avenue for methods of increasing antitumor efficacy of drugs while reducing systemic side effects. Nanoparticulate technology is of particular use in developing a new generation of more effective cancer therapies capable of overcoming the many biological, biophysical, and biomedical barriers that the body stages against a standard intervention. Nanoparticles show much promise in cancer therapy by selectively gaining access to tumor due to their small size and modifiability. Typically, though not exclusively, nanoparticles are defined as submicroscopic particles between 1 and 100 nm. Nanoparticles are formulated out of a variety of substances and engineered to carry an array of substances in a controlled and targeted manner. Nanoparticles are prepared to take advantage of fundamental cancer morphology and modes of development such as rapid proliferation of cells, antigen expression, and leaky tumor vasculature. In cancer treatment and detection nanoparticles serve many targeted functions in chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy, immunodetection, thermotherapy, imaging, photodynamic therapy, and anti-angiogenesis. Not only are modifying agents allowing for greater and more accurate tumor targeting, they are also aiding in the crossing of biophysical barriers such as the blood brain barrier there by reducing peripheral effects and increasing the relative amount of drug reaching in the brain. Moreover, multifunctional nanoparticles perform many of these tasks simultaneously such as targeted delivery of a potent anticancer drug at the same time as an imaging material to visualize the effectiveness of the drug utilized for treatment follow-up. In this review, several recent US and World patents developing and modifying nanoparticles for the detection, analysis, and treatment of cancer are discussed.
Solid formulations intended for targeted drug release into the lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract are beneficial for the localized treatment of several diseases and conditions, mainly inflammatory bowel diseases, irritable bowel syndrome and colon cancer. Also, because of their inherent potential to delay or avoid systemic drug absorption from the small intestine, colonic formulations can be utilized for chronotherapy of diseases which are affected by circadian biorhythms (e.g., asthma, hypertension and arthritis), and to achieve clinically relevant bioavailability of drugs that are poorly absorbed from the upper parts of the GI tract because of their polar nature and/or susceptibility to chemical and enzymatic degradation in the small intestine (e.g., proteins and peptides). The purpose of this review is to summarize the recent patent literature concerning various modified-release (MR) formulation technologies that are claimed to provide colonic delivery for a wide array of therapeutic molecules. These technologies either utilize a single or a combination of two or more physiological characteristics of the colon, which includes pH, microflora (enterobacteria), transit time, and luminal pressure. Accordingly, these technologies may be grouped under four distinct classes: pH-controlled (or delayed-release) system, time-controlled (or time-dependent) system, microbially-controlled system, and pressure-controlled system. Among these, formulations that release drugs in response to colonic pH, enterobacteria, or both are most common and promising.
Biodegradable polymeric systems represent promising means for delivering many bioactive agents, including peptide and protein drugs. The importance of these systems grew with the advancement in the understanding of peptide and protein pharmacology as well as the ability to mass-produce these compounds. Some polymers undergo sol-gel transition once administered. In situ gel formation happens in response to one or a combination of two or more stimuli. These stimuli include UV-irradiation, pH change, temperature change, and solvent exchange. These smart polymeric systems have several advantages over conventional methods, such as ease of manufacturing, ease of administration, biodegradability, and the ability to alter release profiles of the incorporated agents. In the past few years, an increasing number of in situ gel-forming systems have been investigated and many patents for their use in various biomedical applications, including drug delivery, have been reported. In this article, we introduce the different strategies that have been developed and patented for the use of smart polymers in delivering peptide and protein drugs. The advantage, disadvantages, possibilities, and limitations of each of the smart polymer systems have been discussed.
In the body under physiological conditions, many vital functions are regulated by pulsed or transient release of bioactive substances at a specific time and site. Thus, to mimic the function of living systems, it is important to develop new drug delivery devices to achieve pulsed delivery of a certain amount of a bioactive compound at predetermined time intervals. The ability to deliver bioactive compounds and/or therapeutic agents to a patient in a pulsatile or staggered release profile has been a major goal in drug delivery research over the last two decades. The plasma peak is obtained at an optimal time by timing the drug administration. The number of doses per day can be reduced. Based on the relevance of potential therapeutic applications, a variety of design strategies have been formulated in the pursuit of pulsatile release. Overall, these systems can be categorized into reservoir, capsular and osmotic devices. In this review article, several types of dosage forms, including microparticles, coarse particulates, large solid implants, hydrogels, osmotic pumps and liposomes, for time-controlled pulsatile release are discussed. This review describes the recent patents related to preprogrammed delivery systems, such as systems with eroding, soluble or rupturable barrier coatings, and systems with capsular structures.
Cell encapsulation is an evolving branch of biotechnology with numerous applications including the enhancing of reproductive performance both in humans and other mammal species. Over the last twenty years male and female gametes and embryos have been encapsulated with or without somatic cells, for different purposes, such as semen controlled release, in vitro gametogenesis, embryo culture after in vitro fertilization and cell preservation. In this paper the state-of-the-art of this field (leaving aside that involving embryonic stem cells) is reviewed in terms of scientific literature and patent production. The patents and papers underline a widespread use of alginate which is a natural anionic, biocompatible, biodegradable polymer that mimics the extracellular matrix or the basal membrane and supports cell functions and metabolism. Gamete and embryo encapsulation techniques tend to fall into two main groupings: the “classical” three-step method, and the more recent one-step method. However, all of these encapsulation techniques are moving towards new, interesting applications since they can be easily tailor-made to fit a variety of cell lines.