1932

Abstract

Mucus selectively controls the transport of molecules, particulate matter, and microorganisms to the underlying epithelial layer. It may be desirable to weaken the mucus barrier to enable effective delivery of drug carriers. Alternatively, the mucus barrier can be strengthened to prevent epithelial interaction with pathogenic microbes or other exogenous materials. The dynamic mucus layer can undergo changes in structure (e.g., pore size) and/or composition (e.g., protein concentrations, mucin glycosylation) in response to stimuli that occur naturally or are purposely administered, thus altering its barrier function. This review outlines mechanisms by which mucus provides a selective barrier and methods to engineer the mucus layer from the perspective of strengthening or weakening its barrier properties. In addition, we discuss strategic design of drug carriers and dosing formulation properties for efficient delivery across the mucus barrier.

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2018-06-04
2024-06-13
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