This work demonstrates gastric mucin-triggered nanocarrier disassembly for release of antisense oligonucleotides and consequent unassisted cellular entry as a novel oral delivery strategy. A fluorescence activation-based reporter system was used to investigate the interaction and mucin-mediated disassembly of chitosan-based nanocarriers containing a 13-mer DNA oligonucleotide with a flanked locked RNA nucleic acid gapmer design. Gastric mucins were shown to trigger gapmer release from nanocarriers that was dependent on the interaction time, mucin concentration and N : P ratio with a maximal release at N : P 10. In contrast to siRNA, naked gapmers exhibited uptake into mucus producing HT-MTX mono-cultures and HT-MTX co-cultured with the carcinoma epithelial cell line Caco-2. Importantly, in vivo gapmer uptake was observed in epithelial tissue 30 min post-injection in murine intestinal loops. The findings present a mucosal design-based system tailored for local delivery of oligonucleotides that may maximize the effectiveness of gene silencing therapeutics within tumours at mucosal sites.