Conclusion and Future Perspectives

  • Jin ChenEmail author
  • Ling Chen
  • Fengwei Xie
  • Xiaoxi Li


Starch from various natural origins and its derivatives are well known to be biodegradable and biocompatible and thus could be promising materials to construct next-generation drug delivery systems (DDSs). With a better understanding of the human physiological basis, advanced stimulus-responsive, target-specific, and transmucosal DDSs has been proven to be effective to deliver therapeutics to various sites in the body to maximize therapeutic potential and minimize side effects. Starch has been modified by various chemical, physical, and/or enzymatic methods to meet the specific requirements of these different DDSs. Yet, so far, starch is not as versatile as synthetic polymers for the development of DDSs, and the field on starch-based DDSs still needs the improvement of the currently developed systems. Future improvements of starch-based DDSs can be achieved on three aspects: (a) to develop modified methods of starch to more greenness, such as physical and enzymatic methods, and genetic engineering technology; (b) to advance starch-based DDSs with new stimulus-responsiveness and high targeting efficiency, such as active targeting delivery; (c) to deepen the research on the plasma hematocompatibility and in vivo distribution patterns of starch-based carriers, and to establish the good in vitro–in vivo correlation of starch-based DDSs for better clinical application. More effort is needed to enlarge the use of starch-based DDSs and its clinical application potential.


Stimulus-responsive starch-based drug delivery Target-specific starch-based drug delivery Green modified methods Hematocompatibility in vivo distribution pattern In vitro–in vivo correlation 



This article has been financially supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (no. 2016YFD0400203), the NSFC (31871751), The key project of Guangzhou Science and Technology Program (No.201804020036) and YangFan Innovative and Entrepreneurial Research Team Project (2014YT02S029).


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Guangdong Province Key Laboratory for Green Processing of Natural Products and Product Safety, School of Food Science and Engineering, Ministry of Education Engineering Research Center of Starch and Protein ProcessingSouth China University of TechnologyGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.International Institute for Nanocomposites Manufacturing (IINM), WMGUniversity of WarwickCoventryUK

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