Smart Strategies to Reuse Natural Materials as Drug Delivery Platforms


Recently, macromolecules obtained from biomasses, residues or by-products of industrial processes have attracted the interest of the scientific community as valid and green alternatives to polymers of fossil origins. In fact, the substitution of synthetic materials with naturally-derived systems represents an extremely urgent target to effectively achieve sustainable production strategies, within the UN Sustainable Development Goals frame. In this context, food, textile and paper industries may be considered as sources of renewable resources for bio-based material production.

Distinctive features of natural processes are their ability to dynamically self-organize and self-heal, leading to complex 3D structures which transcend the scalability concept. By looking at nature as a creative paradigm and as a source of biomaterials, we can design and fabricate biocomposites which embody ideal structural and functional characteristics. Naturally-derived materials can be re-used and turned into high value products with various architectures (films, hydrogels, nanoparticles, micro- and nanofibers, sponges). Moreover, thanks to their intrinsic biodegradability and biological activities, these natural systems can be easily considered as building blocks for the fabrication of biodegradable drug delivery devices.

This Research Topic seeks contributions from researchers working on the following areas of natural biomaterial production:

•              Biomacromolecules as by-products or waste residues of industrial processes:

- casein, whey proteins from food industry

- sericin, keratin proteins from textile industry

- cellulose or lignin from paper industry

•              Biomacromolecules from micro- and microalgal fermentation and filtration (e.g. alginates, ulvan, etc.)

•              Self-growing biocomposites from fungal mycelia

•              Biomacromolecules from fermentation processes (e.g. bacterial cellulose, PHAs and PHBs, etc.)

•              Active principles as by-products or waste residues of industrial processes (e.g. antioxidants, antibiotics or nutraceutical compounds)

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Media Contact:

Kathy Andrews
Journal Manager
Journal of Clinical & Experimental Dermatology Research