Author(s): Ansari Afaque Raza Mehboob*, Naik Suresh Ramnath and Waghmode Chetan Satish1
Colonic diseases like ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, and colon cancer are on rise due to variations in the dietary and lifestyle habits. Increase in prevalence of such diseases has augmented the interest of researchers in colon targeted drug delivery systems. Natural polysaccharide based drug delivery has emerged as one of the most successful approaches in this direction. Natural polysaccharides are the most commonly available plant ingredients with a wide range of applications in pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. They can also be modified in different ways to obtain tailor-made materials for drug delivery systems and thus can compete with the available synthetic excipients. Polysaccharidase producing microflora in the large intestine could facilitate the use of polysaccharides as the carriers for the drug delivery to the colon site to cure the local diseases of the colon because they can be degraded at constant rate of drug release. Polysaccharides have been applied to the area as controlled release systems with external coatings, matrices formation, gelling agent, as macromolecular and biodegradable carriers. The purpose of this review is to discuss the use of such natural polysaccharides for their potential as colon-specific drug carrier systems such as chitosan, pectin, chondroitin sulphate, cyclodextrin, dextrans, guar gum, inulin, amylose and locust bean gum.