Special Issue "Recent Advances in Bioactive Molecules Delivery"

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Biomacromolecules, Biobased and Biodegradable Polymers".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 25 March 2024 | Viewed by 2099

Special Issue Editors

Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra, Superior Institute of Engeneering of Coimbra, 3030-199 Coimbra, Portugal
Interests: polymers; biomaterials; drug delivery; tissue engineering
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Chemical Engineering, Chemical Process Engineering and Forest Products Research Centre (CIEPQPF), University of Coimbra, 3030-790 Coimbra, Portugal
Interests: surface modification; smart materials; drug delivery; biomaterials; polymers; liposomes
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Promising and versatile bioactive molecule-delivery systems can be used to deliver both small-molecule drugs and various classes of biomacromolecules, such as peptides, proteins, plasmid DNA and synthetic oligodeoxynucleotides. Controlled release of bioactive molecules can enhance their efficacy in several areas of intervention, namely pharmaceutical, agriculture, food industry and packaging or even cosmetics.

Drug delivery systems are one of the main issues of interest to the scientific community. Modern approaches from macromolecular chemistry to medical applications such as drug delivery and tissue engineering raise high demands on the design and functionality of the polymers. On the other hand, the incorporation of bioactive molecules in food packaging materials may allow an increase in the shelf life of those products. In the area of agriculture, a lot of interest has been raised by the incorporation and prolonged release of agrochemicals such as pesticides.

In order to achieve these goals, the high demand for polymeric matrices to sustain and control the delivery of such a variety of molecules justifies the increasing investment in the development of such materials.

This issue aims to review the current state-of-the-art concerning bioactive molecule delivery systems and envision future perspectives. The topical subjects to be addressed include: synthetic polymers, natural polymers, bioconjugation of polymers, smart polymers, amphiphilic polymers, bioactive polymers, the dynamics of polymers crossing biological barriers, targeted drug delivery, polymers as drugs, etc. 

Dr. Paula C. Ferreira
Dr. Patrícia de Jesus Pinto Alves
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Polymers is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • bioactive molecules delivery
  • controlled release
  • biocompatibility
  • pharmaceutics
  • agriculture
  • targeting
  • polymeric nanocarrier

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Alginate Particles for Encapsulation of Phenolic Extract from Spirulina sp. LEB-18: Physicochemical Characterization and Assessment of In Vitro Gastrointestinal Behavior
Polymers 2022, 14(21), 4759; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14214759 - 06 Nov 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1687
Encapsulation can be used as a strategy to protect and control the release of bioactive extracts. In this work, an extract from Spirulina sp. LEB-18, rich in phenolic compounds, was encapsulated in biopolymeric particles (i.e., composed of alginate) and characterized concerning their thermal [...] Read more.
Encapsulation can be used as a strategy to protect and control the release of bioactive extracts. In this work, an extract from Spirulina sp. LEB-18, rich in phenolic compounds, was encapsulated in biopolymeric particles (i.e., composed of alginate) and characterized concerning their thermal behavior using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), size, morphology, swelling index (S), and encapsulation efficiency (EE%); the release profile of the phenolic compounds at different pHs and the particle behavior under in vitro gastrointestinal digestion were also evaluated. It was shown that it is possible to encapsulate the phenolic extract from Spirulina sp. LEB-18 in alginate particles with high encapsulation efficiency (88.97%). It was also observed that the particles are amorphous and that the encapsulated phenolic compounds were released at a pH 7.2 but not at pH 1.5, which means that the alginate particles are able to protect the phenolic compounds from the harsh stomach conditions but lose their integrity under intestinal pH conditions. Regarding bioaccessibility, it was observed that the encapsulated phenolic compounds showed higher bioaccessibility compared to phenolic compounds in free form. This work increases the knowledge about the behavior of alginate particles encapsulating phenolic compounds during in vitro gastrointestinal digestion. It also provides essential information for designing biopolymeric particle formulations encapsulating phenolic compounds for application in pharmaceutical and food products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Bioactive Molecules Delivery)
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