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Manufacturing processes for polymeric micro and nanoparticles and their biomedical applications

Advanced Materials Research Group, Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK, NG7 2RD

Topical Section: Cell and Tissue Engineering

Polymeric materials have been widely investigated for biomedical applications as micro- and nanoparticles, for drug delivery, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. The manufacturing processes employed utilise an array of different techniques, including electrospray, atomisation, emulsion cross-linking, precipitation, microfluidics and 3D printing amongst others. Technique selection and process parameters enable the production of a wide range of particles with different morphologies, porosities and size distributions. Currently, researchers are investigating varying the parameters to enhance particle profiles and morphologies including for example, ultrasound waves, particle surface charge and chemical attraction between the materials interfaces. Furthermore, the size of the particles produced can strongly influence the specific biomedical applications applied. Moreover, particles can be made with multilayer features enabling loading of multiple compounds into the particles, and can be used to prevent interaction between different drugs. Micro and nanoparticles can also exhibit different levels of porosity between core and shell, which can further influence cell attachment and elimination from the body. This review compares the essential features of the above manufacturing processes highlighted for polymeric micro and nanoparticles and highlights some of the applications related to their morphology and size.
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