Zein-based micro- and nano-constructs and biologically therapeutic cues with multi-functionalities for oral drug delivery systems

The selection of polymer with biologically tunable functionalities is a key point for its suitable application. Natural polymers (especially proteins) are preferred over synthetic counterparts, in this regard. Zein is a natural protein obtained from maize (corn) having useful characteristics like biocompatibility, biodegradability and hydrophobic in nature.

The utilization of polymers with multifunctional characteristics, as an excipient, is a highly requisite strategy for the improvement of polymer-based delivery systems. Preference of oral route of drug administration has always motivated researchers to put their efforts in improvement and development of oral drug delivery systems particularly for drugs that have low oral bioavailability or required targeting. Recently, zein has been utilized by a number of researchers for the improvement of oral drug delivery systems such as enhancement of bioavailability, preparing sustained release dosage form and also targeting/protecting drugs.

In this review, we have enlightened applications of zein in the development of different oral drug delivery systems. Different zein based microspheres, nanocarriers, electro-spun fibers, tablets and capsules have been discussed for their applications in the development of oral controlled drug delivery systems.

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Article Information: Author links open overlay panelAli Raza, Uzma Hayat, Muhammad Bilal, Hafiz M.N. Iqbal, Jin-Ye Wang; Journal of Drug Delivery Science and Technology, 2020.

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