Natural polymers, such as polysaccharides and polypeptides, are potential candidates to serve as carriers of biomedical cargo. Natural polymer-based carriers, having a core–shell structural configuration, offer ample scope for introducing multifunctional capabilities and enable the simultaneous encapsulation of cargo materials of different physical and chemical properties for their targeted delivery and sustained and stimuli-responsive release. On the other hand, carriers with a porous matrix structure offer larger surface area and lower density, in order to serve as potential platforms for cell culture and tissue regeneration. This review explores the designing of micro-and nano-metric core–shell capsules and porous spheres, based on various functions. Synthesis approaches, mechanisms of formation, general-and function-specific characteristics, challenges, and future perspectives are discussed. Recent advances in protein-based carriers with a porous matrix structure and different core–shell configurations are also presented in detail.
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© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
- Active pharmaceutical carriers
- Cell culture platforms
- Drug delivery
- Natural polymers
- Polymeric capsules
- Porous polymeric spheres
- Stimuli-responsive release