In complex macromolecules, minor modifications can generate major changes, due to self-assembling capacities of macromolecular or supramolecular networks. Controlled Drug Delivery highlights how the multifunctionality of several materials can be achieved and valorized for pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical applications. Topics covered in this comprehensive book include: the concept of self-assembling; starch and derivatives as pharmaceutical excipients; and chitosan and derivatives as biomaterials and as pharmaceutical excipients. Later chapters discuss polyelectrolyte complexes as excipients for oral administration; and natural semi-synthetic and synthetic materials. Closing chapters cover protein-protein associative interactions and their involvement in bioformulations; self-assembling materials, implants and xenografts; and provide conclusions and perspectives.

Key Features

  • Offers novel perspectives of a new concept: how minor alterations can induce major self-stabilization by cumulative forces exerted at short and long distances
  • Gives guidance on how to approach modifications of biopolymers for drug delivery systems and materials for implants
  • Describes structure-properties relationships in proposed excipients, drug delivery systems and biomedical materials


Biochemists; Those in R&D in the pharmaceutical industry; Materials scientists

Table of Contents

  • List of figures
  • List of tables
  • Biography for book
  • 1. The concept of self-assembling and the interactions involved
    • 1.1 The concept of self-assembling
    • 1.2 The nature of forces and types of interactions involved in self-assembly of macromolecules
    • 1.3 Hydrogels and their role in drug conception and development
    • 1.4 Self-assembling phenomena in solid dosage forms
    • 1.5 Conclusions
    • References
  • 2. Starch and derivatives as pharmaceutical excipients: From nature to pharmacy
    • 2.1 General aspects
    • 2.2 Structural considerations
    • 2.3 Self-assembling in physically modified starches
    • 2.4 Chemically modified starches and their self-assembling
    • References
  • 3. Chitosan and its derivatives as self-assembled systems for drug delivery
    • Abbreviations
    • 3.1 Introduction
    • 3.2 Unmodified chitosan—self-assembled thermogels
    • 3.3 Amphiphilic chitosan derivatives
    • 3.4 Amphiphilic/amphoteric chitosan derivatives
    • 3.5 Conclusion
    • References
  • 4. Chitosan-based polyelectrolyte complexes as pharmaceutical excipients
    • Abbreviations
    • 4.1 Introduction to chitosan-based polyelectrolyte complexes
    • 4.2 Chitosan–chondroitin sulfate PEC
    • 4.3 Chitosan–carboxymethyl starch PEC
    • 4.4 Chitosan–dextran sulfate PEC
    • 4.5 Chitosan–pectin PEC
    • 4.6 Chitosan–alginate PEC
    • 4.7 Chitosan complexed with other polysaccharides
    • 4.8 Conclusion
    • References
  • 5. Self-assembling in natural, synthetic, and hybrid materials with applications in controlled drug delivery
    • 5.1 General considerations
    • 5.2 Natural polysaccharides and their derivatives used in controlled drug release
    • 5.3 Self-assembling of synthetic polymers
    • 5.4


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© 2015
Woodhead Publishing
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About the authors

M A Mateescu

Mircea Alexandru Mateescu is Professor of Biochemistry, Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada, and is a scientist with expertise in drug delivery systems and biochemical pharmacology. He is inventor of several novel biomaterials with particular characteristics related to supramolecular self-assembling phenomena and promoter of new technologies in pharmaceutical formulations. With more than 125 articles published in refereed specialty journals and 27 Patents, he is leading a large laboratory team. Mateescu is the holder of the J-A. Bombardier ACFAS Prize for Technological Innovation in Canada.

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Chemistry, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montreal, Canada

P Ispas-Szabo

Pompilia Ispas-Szabo is adjunct professor at Université du Québec à Montreal and Research & Development scientist in pharmaceutical industry. Her expertise relates to material science, formulation and characterization of drug delivery systems. With more than eighteen years’ experience in the pharmaceutical field, Ispas-Szabo was deeply involved in the concept of novel polymeric excipients, drug delivery platforms and development of new products.

Affiliations and Expertise

Université du Québec à Montréal, Montreal, Canada

E Assaad

Elias Assaad is Research Associate at the University of Québec à Montréal, and has extensive experience in pharmaceutical research, particularly in the design of polymeric excipients for controlled drug delivery and in the conception of polyelectrolyte complexes. He is also skilled in the characterization of excipients for drug delivery systems.

Affiliations and Expertise

Université du Québec à Montréal, Montreal, Canada


"...a well-referenced account of how subtle modification can result in significant changes in self-stabilization of excipients and how that can be used in developing modified-release dosage systems…useful to pharmaceutical scientists, academicians, and graduate students. Score: 74 - 3 Stars" --Doody's