Nanotechnological-Based Drug Delivery System for Magical Molecule Curcumin: Delivery, Possibilities and Challenges
Over the last century, there has been extensive work done on curcumin which is a polyphenolic compound of turmeric (Curcuma longa L.). This molecule possesses the feature to regulate several cell-signaling pathways. Various clinical trials, patented technologies, and experimental research have been published all over the world to delineate the pharmacokinetics, safety, and therapeutic efficacy profile of this magical molecule against various human diseases. Today, curcumin has occupied a special place in Ayurvedic medicine that transformed it from merely a drug moiety to effective formulations with therapeutic applications. Due to its strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, curcumin can play an important role in treatment of cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, inflammatory disorders, neurological disorders, and so on. However, its potential as a medicine faces clinical limitation due to inefficient aqueous solubility, physico-chemical instability, poor bioavailability, swift metabolism, and poor pharmacokinetics. But these issues can be resolved through nanotechnology by loading curcumin into nanoform(s) (nanoformulations). In this chapter, there is a detailed discussion of prominent research carried out in the field of novel drug delivery by successfully employing curcumin with special reference to liposomes, nanoparticles, micelles, nanogels, nanoemulsions, nanocrystal suspensions, phytosome complexes, and inclusion complexes. Nanoformulations could prove to be a ray of hope in enhancing the bioavailability and biological activity of curcumin.