The development of a dosage form that improves the absorption of peptide and protein drugs via the gastrointestinal tract is one of the greatest challenges in the pharmaceutical field. Many researchers have taken up the challenge, using approaches including mucoadhesive drug delivery, colon delivery, particulate drug delivery such as nanoparticles, microcapsules, liposomes, emulsions, micelles, and so on. The objective of this article is to provide the reader with outlines of novel nanoparticle technologies for oral peptide delivery based on polymer chemistry. The physicochemical properties of nanoparticles and their behavior on exposure to physiological media are greatly dominated by their chemical structures and surface characteristics. We will especially focus on the design of nanoparticles composed of novel graft copolymers having a hydrophobic backbone and hydrophilic branches as drug carriers. © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V.
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