American Chemical Society
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Hydrophilic and Electroneutral Nanoparticles to Overcome Mucus Trapping and Enhance Oral Delivery of Insulin

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journal contribution
posted on 2020-08-04, 16:38 authored by Xinyi Tan, Na Yin, Zixu Liu, Rong Sun, Jingxin Gou, Tian Yin, Yu Zhang, Haibing He, Xing Tang
The oral delivery of macromolecules using nanoparticles is limited by secreted mucus, resulting in low contact or internalization via intestinal cells and, thus, both mucus trapping and further low cellular uptake need to be overcome. Here, hydrophilic and electroneutral nanoparticles were developed to overcome mucus trapping and enhance the oral delivery of macromolecules. Mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) were synthesized and modified with a hydrophilic block polymer (poly­(lactic acid)–methoxy poly­(ethylene glycol), PLA–PEG), and then an overall electroneutrality and promoted cellular uptake were achieved by sequential modification with cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs). Reduced hydrophobic and electrostatic interactions of MSN@PLA–PEG-CPP with mucus decreased mucus trapping by 36.0%, increased the cellular uptake of MSN@PLA–PEG-CPP by 2.3-folds in mucous conditions via active heparan sulfate proteoglycan receptor (HSPG)-mediated and caveolae-mediated endocytosis and electrostatic interactions. Furthermore, insulin, a model macromolecular drug, was successfully loaded into the nanoparticles (INS@MSN@PLA–PEG-CPP). Compared with insulin solution, in vitro cellular uptake in mucous conditions and in vivo pharmacodynamic effects were significantly increased by 9.1- and 14.2-folds, respectively. As well, all nanoparticles with or without insulin loading presented negligible in vitro and in vivo toxicity. Herein, hydrophilic and electroneutral nanoparticles with sequential PEG and CPP modification could promote cellular uptake against mucus trapping and finally show good prospects for oral insulin delivery.