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Biol Cell. 1987;61(1-2):69-76.

Transmucosal passage of polyalkylcyanoacrylate nanocapsules as a new drug carrier in the small intestine.

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INSERM, Unité 61, Biologie Cellulaire et Physiopathologie Digestives, Strasbourg, France.


The enteral absorption of particles has been investigated in the dog using a colloidal drug carrier, polyalkylcyanoacrylate nanocapsules loaded with an iodized oil (Lipiodol), as a tracer for X-ray microprobe analysis in a scanning electron microscope. Nanocapsules are spherical capsules, 100 to 200 nm in diameter, with a continuous polymeric wall surrounding a cavity which encapsulates the drug. Administered in the jejunal lumen, Lipiodol nanocapsules improved the absorption of the tracer as indicated by increased concentration of iodine in the plasma of mesenteric blood. In order to follow nanocapsules at the cellular level, all tissue compartments were preserved in a life-like state by cryofixation and freeze-drying of intestinal biopsies. Nanocapsules appeared in the intestinal lumen close to the mucus, then in intercellular spaces and defects of the mucosa and finally in the lamina propria and blood capillaries; in this latter compartment, the iodine content was four-fold higher than after intra-jejunal administration of Lipiodol emulsion. This complete phenomenon occurred only at the tip of the villi and happened within less than 60 min. We conclude that nanocapsules enhance the rate of absorption of Lipiodol and transport the drug from the intestinal lumen to the vascular compartment using a paracellular pathway. Thus they may be useful as drug carrier for oral administration of many chemicals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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