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Efficacy and safety concerns over the use of mucus modulating agents for drug delivery using nanoscale systems

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



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


© 2017. Drug delivery to the mucus covered mucosae is fraught with difficulties and many different approaches have been developed to permeate the mucus barrier. Generally by modifying the delivery system to avoid interaction with the mucus. These modifications are reviewed here in terms of efficacy and safety. These are particular problems for oral delivery the pharmaceutical industry's favoured route for drug administration. For effective delivery through the gastrointestinal tract a drug must pass through three barriers in sufficient amounts to yield a biological effect. These barriers are the digestive barrier in the lumen, the mucus barrier, and the epithelial barrier.Other approaches involve mucolytic agents added with or prior to the delivery system or agents regulating mucus production and are reviewed here. In terms of safety, a key property of a mucus modulating delivery system is that it must not damage the protective function of the mucus layer.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Chater PI, Wilcox MD, Pearson JP

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews

Year: 2018

Volume: 124

Pages: 184-192

Print publication date: 15/01/2018

Online publication date: 13/12/2017

Acceptance date: 10/12/2017

Date deposited: 14/03/2018

ISSN (print): 0169-409X

ISSN (electronic): 1872-8294

Publisher: Elsevier BV


DOI: 10.1016/j.addr.2017.12.006


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