Novel drug delivery system for a healthier intestinal microenvironment

Recently, Li Nan’s research group of Tianjin University and researchers from Mendel University in the Czech Republic carried out international cooperation and successfully designed a new oral drug delivery system, which provides a new idea for nano-drug treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. The research has been supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Tianjin Major Special Fund, and the results have been published in the authoritative journal Advanced Materials.

Inflammatory bowel disease is a chronic disease that occurs widely worldwide, and its etiology is closely related to intestinal microenvironment disorders, mainly including decreased intestinal mucosa, destruction of intestinal epithelial cells, and loss of tight junction proteins. Currently, people can treat inflammatory bowel disease with traditional interventions such as surgery and anti-inflammatory drugs, but these treatments have the disadvantages of low efficiency, high recurrence rate and many complications.

In this regard, Li Nan’s team took a unique approach and adopted the treatment strategy of “removing intestinal harmful substances to regulate the intestinal microenvironment” to establish a new oral drug delivery system. Its principle is to use esterified hypromellose acetate as a casing material, supporting a “protective umbrella” for a multifunctional nanoplatform, helping the drug delivery probe cross the strongly acidic gastric juice, so that it enters the weakly alkaline intestine intact and releases.

Technical principle of new drug delivery system Photo courtesy of Tianjin University

Animal experiments have shown that this new oral delivery system embodies significant therapeutic effects, restoring mucosal and epithelial integrity, preventing intestinal barrier damage and microbial dysbiosis, thereby restoring a healthy microenvironment to the gut – a treatment that relieves intestinal inflammation better than traditional drugs.

“The cutting-edge treatment methods of inflammatory bowel disease currently focus on eliminating intestinal pathogenic reactive oxygen species and reducing pro-inflammatory factors, and our study is the first to apply the concept of ‘harmful gas adsorption’ in the environmental field to disease treatment,” Li Nan said, “Later researchers can explore more disease treatment targets and develop more efficient and ingenious pharmaceutical preparations.” (Source: China Science News, Jiao Defang, Shi Senfang, Chen Bin)

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