A Polymer Chemistry Point of View on Mucoadhesion and Mucopenetration

Philipp Schattling, Essi Marika Taipaleenmäki, Yan Zhang, Brigitte Maria Stadler

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Although oral is the preferred route of administration of pharmaceutical formulations, the long-standing challenge for medically active compounds to efficiently cross the mucus layer barrier limits its wider applicability. Efforts in nanomedicine to overcome this hurdle consider mucoadhesive and mucopenetrating drug carriers by selectively designing (macromolecular) building blocks. This review highlights and critically discusses recent strategies developed in this context including poly(ethylene glycol)-based modifications, cationic and thiolated polymers, as well as particles with high charge density, zeta-potential shifting ability, or mucolytic properties. The latest advances in ex vivo test platforms are also reviewed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1700060
JournalMacromolecular Bioscience
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017


  • gut-on-chip
  • mucoadhesion
  • mucopenetration
  • polymers


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