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Bioimpacts. 2012;2(4):173-4. doi: 10.5681/bi.2012.029. Epub 2012 Nov 22.

Pharmaceutical nanoparticles and the mucin biopolymer barrier.

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1
Cardiff School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science, Cardiff University, CF10 3NB, UK.

Abstract

Mucus in the gastrointestinal tract remains a tenacious barrier that restricts the passage of many orally administered compounds into the GIT's epithelial layer and consequently into the systemic circulation. This results in significant decreases in the oral bioavailability of many therapeutic molecules. Nanoparticles offer an avenue to surpass this mucus barrier. They can be used as drug carriers to improve the bioavailability of many compounds that are restricted by mucus. Nanoparticles achieve penetration of the mucus barrier through a multitude of properties that they possess as their size, charge density, and surface functional groups which can all be tailored to achieve optimal penetration of the thick and fibrous mucus barrier. This article offers a quick review about the use of nanoparticles as drug carriers to increase mucus penetration in the gastro intestinal tract.

KEYWORDS:

Mucin; Mucus; Nanoparticles

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