Biomaterials

A healing shot to the gut

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Science  19 Oct 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6412, pp. 301-302
DOI: 10.1126/science.362.6412.301-g

Targeted oral delivery of therapeutics for the treatment of chronic bowel disease might alleviate some of the side effects caused by systemic delivery, but this route requires a means to prevent degradation of the drugs within the gastrointestinal tract. Li et al. devise a multicomponent drug delivery platform built around porous silicon nanoparticles. Surface functionalization with hyaluronic acid gives the particles a negative charge so that they do not adhere to intact mucosa. A hydrogel based on an active pharmaceutical agent and ascorbyl palmitate is loaded into the pores of the particles and releases the drug in the presence of specific enzymes. Furthermore, the entire construct is coated with hydroxypropyl methylcellulose acetate, which can be tuned to be soluble at a specific pH to provide protected delivery to the required location.

Biomaterials 185, 322 (2018).

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