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Pharmaceutical applications of native starch in conventional drug delivery

Builders, Philip F., Arhewoh, Mathew I.
Die Stärke = 2016 v.68 no.9-10 pp. 864-873
drug delivery systems, drugs, lubricants, polymers, production technology, starch
Starch is a naturally occurring polymer that is present in many green plants. Its nontoxic and nonirritant properties, as well as low cost, ease of modification, and versatility in use have placed starch in a leading position among polymers used as a pharmaceutical excipient. In many conventional tablets and capsules, starch is used as a diluent, disintegrant, binder, and lubricant. Starch has vital intrinsic properties that have made its pharmaceutical applications possible. It has also been used for a wide range of specialized drug delivery applications, such as delivery of challenging molecules and targeting to specific sites in the body. Although several official native starches with different proprietary identities are available, new sources will continue to evolve with the spate of economic and scientific interest in starch and starch‐based products. This review discusses the contemporary trends in the types and application of native starch in conventional drug delivery systems in a world of dynamic drug production technology. It is the authors’ opinion that starch will continue to be a material of great value in drug delivery because of its overwhelming intrinsic properties, low cost, versatility in application, and ease of modification.