Rhamnogalacturonan-I based microcapsules for targeted drug release

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Drug targeting to the colon via the oral administration route for local treatment of e.g. inflammatory bowel disease and colonic cancer has several advantages such as needle-free administration and low infection risk. A new source for delivery is plant-polysaccharide based delivery platforms such as Rhamnogalacturonan-I (RG-I). In the gastro-intestinal tract the RG-I is only degraded by the action of the colonic microflora. For assessment of potential drug delivery properties, RG-I based microcapsules (~1 μm in diameter) were prepared by an interfacial poly-addition reaction. The cross-linked capsules were loaded with a fluorescent dye (model drug). The capsules showed negligible and very little in vitro release when subjected to media simulating gastric and intestinal fluids, respectively. However, upon exposure to a cocktail of commercial RG-I cleaving enzymes, ~ 9 times higher release was observed, demonstrating that the capsules can be opened by enzymatic degradation. The combined results suggest a potential platform for targeted drug delivery in the terminal gastro-intestinal tract.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0168050
JournalP L o S One
Issue number12
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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