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Mucus permeating carriers: formulation and characterization of highly densely charged nanoparticles

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Matthew WilcoxORCiD, Professor Jeffrey Pearson


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The GI mucus layer represents a significant block to drug carriers absorption. Taking an example from nature, virus-mimicking nanoparticles (NPs) with highly densely charged surface were designed with the aim to improve their mucus permeation ability. NPs were formulated by combining chitosan with chondroitin sulfate and were characterized by particle size zeta-potential and hydrophobicity. The interaction occurring between NPs and diluted porcine intestinal mucus was investigated by a new method, Furthermore, the rotating tube technique was exploited to evaluate the NPs permeation ability in fresh undiluted porcine intestinal mucus. NPs (400-500 nm) presenting a slightly positive (4.02 mV) and slightly negative (-3.55 mV) zeta-potential resulted to be hydrophobic and hydrophilic, respectively. On the one hand the hydrophobic NPs undergo physico-chemical changes when incubated with mucus, namely the size increased and the zeta-potential decreased. On the other hand, the hydrophilic NPs did not significantly change size and net charge during incubation with mucus. Both types of NPs showed a 3-fold higher diffusion ability compared to the reference 50/50 DL-lactide/glycolide copolymer NPs (136 nm, 23 mV, hydrophilic). Based on these results, this work gives valuable information for the further design of mucus-penetrating NPs. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): de Sousa IP, Steiner C, Schmutzler M, Wilcox MD, Veldhuis GJ, Pearson JP, Huck CW, Salvenmoser W, Bernkop-Schnurch A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics

Year: 2015

Volume: 97

Issue: Part A

Pages: 273-279

Print publication date: 01/11/2015

Online publication date: 06/01/2015

Acceptance date: 12/12/2014

ISSN (print): 0939-6411

ISSN (electronic): 1873-3441

Publisher: Elsevier BV


DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpb.2014.12.024


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Funder referenceFunder name
NMP-2011-1.2-2-280761European Community's Seventh Framework Programme for ALEXANDER