Painless and improved drug delivery with mucoadhesive chitosan microspheres

Painless and improved drug delivery with mucoadhesive chitosan microspheres

Sachin Jagdale

With India tipped to become the diabetes capital of the world, a non-invasive delivery system for insulin is sure to relieve many patients. A research paper published in the July-August edition of Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, titled ‘Mucoadhesive chitosan microspheres for non-invasive and improved nasal delivery of insulin’ discusses one such attempt at fine-tuning painless method of insulin delivery.

The need for non-invasive drug delivery arises not just due to the pain factor. Repeated injections of proteins/peptides are necessary because of their short biological life. However, daily injections add to risk factors and also require constant medical supervision. This is why non-invasive methods of drug delivery are receiving a lot of attention.

In the research paper, mucoadhesive chitosan microspheres bearing insulin, prepared by the emulsification method, were evaluated for in vitro drug release and drug permeation through mucosal membranes. In vivo performance was studied via blood plasma levels of glucose. The in vivo performance of mucoadhesive microspheres showed prolonged and controlled release of drug as compared with the conventional dosage form.

The mentioned project uses chitosan, a natural polysaccharide which is a widely used mucoadhesive polymer, to carry insulin. The nasal route was chosen for drug delivery as the nasal epithelium is highly vascularised, has higher permeability, a less hostile environment and extended surface area.

This research paper concludes that mucoadhesive microspheres containing protease inhibitors and permeability enhancers can improve bioavailability of protein/peptide drugs in a much better way than conventional delivery systems. However, the researchers caution that exhaustive clinical trials must be studied before introducing this system in the market.