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Versatile Nature of Poly(Vinylpyrrolidone) in Clinical Medicine


  • 1 International and Inter-University Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam - 686560, Kerala, India, E-mail: This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it (K. R. Dhanya)
  • 2Chemical Faculty, Polymers Technology Department,

Gdansk University of Technology, Gdansk - 80233, Poland

institute Jean Lamour, Universite de Lorraine,

Nancy Cedex - 50840-54011, France


Unique polymer, polyvinylpyrrolidone has highly vast and interesting medical applications. Diverse properties in every field, makes it as a prominent polymer. On combining with substrates, PVP shows better performance, biocompatibility, and dimensional stability. When it is taking orally, the emitting is really easier and faster and completely through the kidney. One of the superior properties of PVP is its compatibility and its important application is the substitute for blood plasma. This chapter solely summarizes the utilization of PVP in the therapeutic area.


The nontoxic behavior of PVP imparts special attention in the last decades and its strong binding capacity and better solubility make faster execution in the field of medical health care. PVP is also used in the non-medical sector due to its excellent chemical as well as physical properties. PVP forms stable complexes and yields further recognition in the pharmaceutical field and medicine [9-14, 20, 48]. Another important area of PVP is the use in ophthalmic solutions and in drug tablets. Industrial and commercial applications leads to paper, cosmetics, fibers, textiles, adhesives [21-30], coatings, inks, industrial, environmental, optical, electrical [31-33, 72], photography [73-81], food, and household. Quantitative analysis of PVP in accordance with its use leads to medicine and its versatile nature such as lack of toxicity, easier film formation and adhesive capacity, PVP can readily utilize for the synthesis of nanogels [82-86]. PVP shows an amorphous nature and due to this character, the scattering loss must be very low and can be used for various purposes.


Poly(vinylpyrrolidone) is known to be polyvidone or povidone and it is depicted in the section of polymers of water-soluble as shown in Figure 4.1. In dry conditions, it can absorb moisture and in the solution state, exhibit fine wetting characteristics and can easily form films.

Structure of poly(vinyl pyrrolidone)

FIGURE 4.1 Structure of poly(vinyl pyrrolidone).

It is synthesized by free radical polymerization reaction using free radical initiator azobisisobutyronitrile. PVP is prepared from N-vinylpyrrolidone (NVP) and radical polymerization of NVP in bulk, solution, or in suspension, yields poly(vinylpyrrolidone) (Figure 4.2).

PVP varies from molecular weight and by this variation; it can be applicable to various fields like cosmetic area, industrial field, and pharmaceuticals.

Synthesis of poly (vinyl pyrrolidone) from formaldehyde and acetylene

FIGURE 4.2 Synthesis of poly (vinyl pyrrolidone) from formaldehyde and acetylene.


PVP is soluble in all types of organic solvents and under normal conditions and is quite stable. The reason behind this remarked solubility is that they contain both hydrophilic and hydrophobic groups in the chain structure. The inert, hygroscopic, colorless, and temperature resistant behavior of PVP makes it a unique polymer [87, 88]. The glass transition temperature is related with its molecular weight. PVP films are fairly hard and transparent. Binding with natural as well as synthetic resins, PVP forms clear films. Chemically modified PVP are extremely inert in nature. In powder state, it is comparatively stable and if applying temperature on PVP, it becomes yellow in color. PVP is in contact with light, the formation of gelation happens.

When PVP is used as a drug, easily released, and penetrate through the kidney [89]. The dosage and absorption of PVP into body is very less and is inversely linked with its molecular weight [89, 90]. Molecular weight is an important factor in such kinds of analysis. When the molecular weight is higher, it is difficult to go through body membranes and generate some reactions which must be somewhat disturbing to our mechanical functions [91].

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