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Curr Med Chem. 2018 Oct 1. doi: 10.2174/0929867325666181001114750. [Epub ahead of print]

Bio-polymer Substrates in Buccal Drug Delivery: Current Status and Future Trend.

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Key Laboratory of Food Nutrition and Safety (Tianjin University of Science and Technology), Ministry of Education, Tianjin 300457. China.
Department of Chemical Engineering, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Brunswick. Canada.
Key Laboratory of Pulp & Paper Science and Technology of Shandong Province, Ministry of Education, Qilu University of Technology (Shandong Academy of Sciences), Jinan, Shandong. China.
Center for Biocomposites and Biomaterials Processing, University of Toronto, 33 Willcocks St., Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 3B3. Canada.



This paper provides a critical review of biopolymer-based substrates, especially the cellulose derivatives, for their application in buccal drug delivery. Drug delivery to the buccal mucous has the benefits of immobile muscle, abundant vascularization and rapid recovery, but not all the drugs can be administered through the buccal mucosa (e. g., macromolecular drugs), due to the low bioavailability caused by their large molecular size. This shortfall inspired the rapid development of drug-compounding technologies and the corresponding usage of biopolymer substrates.


Cellulose derivatives have been extensively developed for drug manufacturing to facilitate its delivery. We engaged in structured research of cellulose-based drug compounding technologies. We summarized the characteristic cellulose derivatives which have been used as the biocompatible substrates in buccal delivery systems. The discussion of the potential use of the rapidly-developed nanocellulose (NC) is also notable in this paper.


Seventy-eight papers were referenced in this perspective paper with the majority (sixty-five) published later than 2010. Forty-seven papers defined the buccal drug delivery systems and their substrates. Fifteen papers outlined the properties and applications of cellulose derivatives. Nanocellulose was introduced as a leading edge of nanomaterial with sixteen papers highlighted its adaptability in drug compounding for buccal delivery.


The findings of this perspective paper proposed the potential use of cellulose derivatives, the typical kind of biopolymers, in the buccal drug delivery system for promoting the bioavailability of the macromolecular drugs. Nanocellulose (NC) in particular was proposed as an innovative bio-binder/carrier for the controlled-release of drugs.


Buccal drug delivery; bio-polymer; cellulose and its derivatives; drug compounding technologies; nano-cellulose (NC).

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