Semi-solid materials represent an important category of inactive ingredients (excipients) of pharmaceutical products. Here we review several common semisolid polymers currently used in the controlled release formulations of many drugs. These polymers are selected based on their importance and broad scope of application in FDA-approved drug products and include several polysaccharides (cellulose, starch, chitosan, alginate) and carbomers, a group of mucoadhesive synthetic polymers. Glyceride-based polymers used in self-emulsifying drug delivery systems (SEDDS) will also be discussed for its importance in formulating poorly water-soluble drugs. Unique features and advantages of each type of semi-solid materials are discussed and examples of their use in oral delivery of drugs are provided. Finally, future prospects of developing new and better semi-solid excipients are discussed with the objective of facilitating clinical translation.
- controlled release
- drug delivery