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Drug Delivery Systems

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Introduction William J. Grieco PetroAlgae Melbourne, Florida Efrosini Kokkoli University of Minnesota Minneapolis, Minnesota Historically, the concept of “drug delivery” has referred to any method of introducing a therapeutic agent into the human body. Traditional delivery meth- ods included oral ingestion, injection, inhalation, and other pathways. Over the past 20 years, advances in materials, particularly polymer systems, have enabled more careful engineering of delivery systems. Current drug-delivery systems now include methods of using traditional mechanisms, such as oral and injection techniques, to introduce engineered particles or devices into the body that can eliminate the necessity of daily doses by providing sustained release therapies. Micro- and nanoengineered systems now offer opportunities to minimize sys- temic side effects by targeting the delivery of therapies to particular physiological systems. The presentations in this section provide an overview of drug-delivery meth- odologies from academic and industrial perspectives. The focus is on polymeric materials for engineering delivery systems. Speakers highlight several key tech- nologies for targeting and controlling the release of bioactive materials. 

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