A physiologically active substance is a chemical that participates in and influences living processes in a minor way. Vitamins and coenzymes, hormones, antibiotics, neurotransmitters, and cytokines are examples of biologically active compounds. They primarily regulate biological functions and are also being investigated as potential medicinal candidates. Bioactive agents can be integrated into polymers, which can be used in medicine delivery, commercial manufacturing of household goods, and biomedical device development. Bioactive compounds are placed into enzyme-responsive polymers in drug delivery systems, which can subsequently be cleaved by target enzymes. The release of therapeutic cargos is triggered by the activation of bioactive substances.
A substance that allows a cell to mature from an immature state to a mature state is known as a differentiation agent. A differentiation agent may help cancer cells grow and spread more slowly by allowing them to become more like normal cells. Differentiating agents are being researched for cancer prevention and treatment.