(262e) Drug Absorption in the Upper Small Intestine and Its Implications in the Design of Oral Protein Delivery Carriers

Peppas, N. A. - Presenter, University of Texas at Austin

Recent advances in the discovery and delivery of drugs to cure chronic diseases are achieved by combination of intelligent material design with advances in nanotechnology. Since many drugs act as protagonists or antagonists to different chemicals in the body, a delivery system that can respond to the concentrations of certain molecules in the body is invaluable. Intelligent therapeutics or ?smart drug delivery? calls for the design of the newest generation of sensitive materials based on molecular recognition. Biomimetic polymeric networks can be prepared by designing interactions between the building blocks of biocompatible networks and the desired specific ligands and by stabilizing these interactions by a three-dimensional structure. These structures are at the same time flexible enough to allow for diffusion of solvent and ligand into and out of the networks. Synthetic networks that can be designed to recognize and bind biologically significant molecules are of great importance and influence a number of emerging technologies. These artificial materials can be used as unique systems or incorporated into existing drug delivery technologies that can aid in the removal or delivery of biomolecules and restore the natural profiles of compounds in the body.

In recent years, there has been considerable work in preparing materials and finding new uses for nanoscale structures based on biomaterials. Uses such as carriers for controlled and targeted drug delivery, micropatterned devices, systems for biological recognition, have shown the versatility of these biopolymeric materials.

Another major goal in this field is the investigation of drug transport mechanisms across the intestinal wall using improved nanoscale devices. We have developed advanced models of drug and protein transport that can analyze the transport of soluble and poorly soluble drugs across the intestinal wall. Such models have been inspired by the pioneering research of C.K. Colton at MIT during the period 1972-79 along with his PhD students or postdoctoral fellows George Truskey, Robert Bratzler, Nicholas Peppas, Jay Schnitzer, Carlos Ramirez and Guy Chisolm.

Biomimetic methods are now used to build biohybrid systems or even biomimetic materials (mimicking biological recognition) for drug delivery and drug targeting. The development of nanoparticulate systems for drug delivery applications has taken a level of sophistication never before seen in the field of drug delivery. Using intelligent polymers, it is now possible to design new devices for intelligent therapeutics. Such systems can be employed for auto-feedback drug delivery, whereby the hydrogel will be connected to a biosensor and will respond to fast changes in the external biological conditions.