Controlled release technology conducts active chemicals at a controlled rate for an extended period of time. These chemicals may include drugs, hormones, pesticides, fertilizers or even fragrances. The main advantage of controlled release technique is that less amount of substance can be used to provide still effective concentration over the predetermined period of time. This significantly reduces the possible toxicity and side-effects of chemicals with high concentration at short and limited periods. This method is currently being employed in nanomedicine to maintain efficient concentration of drug at the target site with less frequent administration and less side effects to non-target tissues. Synthetic and natural polymers are the main materials used for controlled release of biocides and fertilizers. Natural polymers are usually preferred due to their biodegradability, availability, and low cost. Starch, lignin, chitin, cellulose, and alginic acid can be used as natural polymers in such a controlled release investigation. However, the main drawback of natural polymers is their hydrophobic nature, making them almost insoluble in standard solvents.
Professionals at Advanced CERT Canada are developing natural polymers-based formulations for controlled release of biocides and fertilizers. These nanoparticles (less than 300nm) are dissolved in water more effectively than available ones, leading to high motivation in utilizing them.
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