, Volume 27, Issue 5, pp 735-738
Date: 03 Mar 2010

Drug Delivery Systems for Intraperitoneal Therapy

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Disorders associated with the peritoneal cavity include peritoneal adhesions and intraperitoneal (IP) malignancies. To prevent peritoneal adhesions, physical barrier devices are used to prevent organs from contacting other structures in the abdomen and forming adhesions, or pharmacological agents that interfere with adhesion formation are administered intraperitoneally. IP malignancies are other disorders confined to the peritoneal cavity, which are treated by combination of surgical removal and chemotherapy of the residual tumor. IP drug delivery helps in the regional therapy of these disorders by providing relatively high concentration and longer half-life of a drug in the peritoneal cavity. Various studies suggest that IP delivery of anti-neoplastic agents is a promising approach for malignancies in the peritoneal cavity compared to the systemic administration. However, IP drug delivery faces several challenges, such as premature clearance of a small molecular weight drug from the peritoneal cavity, lack of target specificity, and poor drug penetration into the target tissues. Previous studies have proposed the use of micro/nanoparticles and/or hydrogel-based systems for prolonging the drug residence time in the peritoneal cavity. This commentary discusses the currently used IP drug delivery systems either clinically or experimentally and the remaining challenges in IP drug delivery for future development.