Probing nanoparticle interactions with biological system for drug delivery applications

Conference Dates

April 3-7, 2016


Before any drug administered to the gastro-intestinal tract reaches the epithelium, it must traverse a layer of mucus. The main polymeric component of mucus is the glycoproteins collectively called mucins. These are complex gel-forming polymers which exhibit electrostatic, hydrophobic and H-bonding interactions and are responsible for the viscous and elastic gel-like properties of the mucus layer.

The efficacy of nanoparticles (NPs) to penetrate this layer, and deliver macromolecular drugs in therapeutic concentrations to the epithelium will depend on the surface chemistry (decoration) of the NPs. Quantifying the interactions between these NPs and the mucin gel is essential for designing successful drug delivery systems. In this project various decorations were fabricated, including zeta potential changing, slippery, and proteolytic enzymes. Figure 1 illustrates slippery and proteolytic enzyme decorated NPs penetrating a mucus layer that would stop conventional NPs.

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