About this Research Topic
Drug efficacy depends on the ability to release drugs in a spatially/temporally controlled way. For this reason, more and more drug carriers are being developed both for illness treatment as well as in the tissue engineering field. There is also a huge interest in the research community for prevention and treatments by using bio-compounds. However, there are often setbacks for the use of these materials. One example is the use of probiotic-based products. However, these products suffer from low survival, firstly in food products, and then in the gastrointestinal tract. Other interesting biomolecules are various food antioxidants, but their activity may be hampered due to their degradation triggered by light, oxygen, temperature, moisture and the existence of unsaturated bonds in the molecular structures. Vaccines are another category of molecules meant for illness prevention. In this case, the efficacy of vaccines depends on many factors influencing stability and storage conditions. Early detection is another important topic in terms of prevention and it is often addressed by bio-sensing devices.
Micro-encapsulation provides several advantages in the delivery of drugs as well as probiotics, antioxidants, vaccines and biomolecules. In particular, active agents are protected against (e.g. enzymatic) degradation and can be accurately released over periods of any time between hours to months. In the case of probiotics, micro-encapsulation provides a physical barrier to protect and deliver active microorganisms into the gut. Also in the case of anti-oxidants, micro-encapsulation can be an optimal strategy for enhancing storage and the environmental stability of bioactives, as well as giving an advance to mask flavoring, bitter taste, and astringency of polyphenols. In tissue engineering, growth factors play a crucial role during both tissue repair and the regeneration process, but these molecules are very labile and suffer from a tendency to lose their bioactivity upon environmental and physical changes. Again micro-encapsulation can help solve this issue and enhance the delivery efficiency of growth factors. Vaccines are another example of environmentally sensitive molecules that typically require cold storage conditions. Micro-encapsulation, and in particular microneedles patches, have been proposed to increase vaccine effectiveness, simplify the supply chain, with no need for reconstitution. Recently, micro-encapsulation has also emerged as a method to enhance bio-sensing by encapsulating probes within micro-carries, typically made of hydrogel materials, which are biocompatible and anti-fouling in complex biological samples.
We welcome Original Research articles, Review articles, as well as Short Communications in this Research Topic. The main theme of this Research Topic is to address the current advances in micro-encapsulation for biomedical applications with a special focus on the following areas:
• Oral delivery of probiotics, nutraceuticals and drugs micro/nano encapsulated in polymer-based materials
• Intradermal delivery of micro/nano-encapsulated vaccine, anticancer, enzymes embedded in different biodegradable polymer structures.
• Drug aerosol delivery based on micro/nanoformulation
• Encapsulated/drafted probe molecules in polymeric microcarriers for biosensing
• Micro-encapsulated bioactive molecules for scaffold preparation in tissue engineering
Important Note: All submissions/contributions to this Research Topic must be in line with the scope of the journal/section they are submitted to. While authors are encouraged to draw from other disciplines to enrich their papers where relevant, they must ensure papers fall within the scope of the journal/section, as expressed in its mission statement.
Drs. Vecchione, Causa and Domingo Concha hold patents related to the theme of the Research Topic. All other Topic Editors declare no competing interests with regard to the Research Topic subject.
We would like to acknowledge Dr. Concetta Di Natale as the Co-ordinator for this Research Topic, and her role in the project preparation.
Keywords: Microparticles, Drug Delivery, Vaccine, Probiotics, Biosensing, Growth factors, Tissue Engineering
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.