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Chapter 1
Drug Delivery Nanosystems as a Promising Area of Modern Chemistry and Medicine. Silica Nanoparticles as Potential Drug Carriers

Excerpt

In present time, besides searching for new pharmacologically active compounds, optimization of therapeutic indexes of well known drugs is a major challenge for many pharmaceutical companies. Often use of traditional drug formulations suffer from grave shortcomings such as poor solubility and bioavailability, rapid elimination from the blood, low specificity, necessity of overdoses and increased side effects, etc.

New technologies are applied for constructing innovative drug formulation. The strategy, often called drug delivery systems, allows improvement in the therapeutic index of both established and new drugs, and is based on an interdisciplinary approach that combines chemistry, pharmaceutics and medicine.

In recent years, the development of therapeutic nanoparticles for drug delivery has received great attention. Nanoparticles are colloidal particles that range in size from 10 to 1000 nm in diameter. They can serve as carriers for different pharmacologically active agents which can be entrapped, adsorbed or chemically attached [1,2]. The advantages of using nanoparticles for drug delivery applications result from their unique properties.

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