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An ex Vivo Model Enables Systematic Investigation of the Intestinal Absorption and Transcytosis of Oral Particulate Nanocarriers

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posted on 28.04.2021, 09:45 authored by Zhengyang Jia, Anthony Wignall, Ludivine Delon, Zhaobin Guo, Clive Prestidge, Benjamin Thierry
Nanoparticulate formulations are being developed toward enhancing the bioavailability of orally administrated biologics. However, the processes mediating particulate carriers’ intestinal uptake and transport remains to be fully elucidated. Herein, an optical clearing-based whole tissue mount/imaging strategy was developed to enable high quality microscopic imaging of intestinal specimens. It enabled the distribution of nanoparticles within intestinal villi to be quantitatively analyzed at a cellular level. Two-hundred and fifty nm fluorescent polystyrene nanoparticles were modified with polyethylene glycol (PEG), Concanavalin A (ConA), and pectin to yield mucopenetrating, enterocyte targeting, and mucoadhesive model nanocarriers, respectively. Introducing ConA on the PEGylated nanoparticles significantly increased their uptake in the intestinal epithelium (∼4.16 fold for 200 nm nanoparticle and ∼2.88 fold for 50 nm nanoparticles at 2 h). Moreover, enterocyte targeting mediated the trans-epithelial translocation of 50 nm nanoparticles more efficiently than that of the 200 nm nanoparticles. This new approach provides an efficient methodology to obtain detailed insight into the transcytotic activity of enterocytes as well as the barrier function of the constitutive intestinal mucus. It can be applied to guide the rational design of particulate formulations for more efficient oral biologics delivery.