Enhancing the buccal mucosal delivery of peptide and protein therapeutics

Thiago Caon, Liang Jin, M O Claudia Simoes, Raymond Stanley Norton, Joseph Nicolazzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


With continuing advances in biotechnology and genetic engineering, there has been a dramatic increase in the availability of new biomacromolecules, such as peptides and proteins that have the potential to ameliorate the symptoms of many poorly-treated diseases. Although most of these macromolecular therapeutics exhibit high potency, their large molecular mass, susceptibility to enzymatic degradation, immunogenicity and tendency to undergo aggregation, adsorption, and denaturation have limited their ability to be administered via the traditional oral route. As a result, alternative noninvasive routes have been investigated for the systemic delivery of these macromolecules, one of which is the buccal mucosa. The buccal mucosa offers a number of advantages over the oral route, making it attractive for the delivery of peptides and proteins. However, the buccal mucosa still exhibits some permeability-limiting properties, and therefore various methods have been explored to enhance the delivery of macromolecules via this route, including the use of chemical penetration enhancers, physical methods, particulate systems and mucoadhesive formulations. The incorporation of anti-aggregating agents in buccal formulations also appears to show promise in other mucosal delivery systems, but has not yet been considered for buccal mucosal drug delivery. This review provides an update on recent approaches that have shown promise in enhancing the buccal mucosal transport of macromolecules, with a major focus on proteins and peptides.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 21
Number of pages21
JournalPharmaceutical Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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