The concept of using mucoadhesive polymer to extend the GI transit time is elaborated in the figure. The drug delivery system coated with mucoadhesive polymer binds to the mucin molecules in the mucus lining and is therefore retained on the surface epithelium for extended periods of time. The drug molecules contained in the drug delivery device coated with mucoadhesive polymer are constantly released for absorption.
A bio (muco) adhesive polymer is a natural or a synthetic polymer capable of producing an adhesive interaction with a biological membrane, which is then called a bioadhesive polymer, or with the mucus lining on the GI mucosal membrane, which is thus called a mucoadhesive polymer.
A bio (muco) adhesive polymer is known to have the following molecular characteristics:
- It has molecular flexibility;
- It contains hydrophilic functional groups;
- It poses a specific molecular weight, chain length and conformance.
- Carboxy methyl cellulose
- Sodium alginate
- Hydroxyl propyl methyl cellulose
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