Over the last decades we have seen the pharmaceutical industry grow at a tremendous rate. Along with the discoveries of drugs with novel and peculiar properties, the need for novel materials and methods to deliver them energized the field of drug delivery creating new opportunities for material scientists. Among those materials, the pharmaceutical industry has since the beginning relied on cellulose, the most abundant natural polymer on earth. Nowadays, many polysaccharides are used, modified and transformed to serve the pharmaceutical needs either as solubilizers, adhesives, carriers or active substances themselves. This book covers many of the polysaccharides used in the field, their sources, properties, preparation and mechanism of action.
Robert H. Marchessault is at McGill University. Francois Ravenelle is at Labopharm, Inc..