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Time-Based Formulation Strategies for Colon Drug Delivery

Published: 9 December 2022
 by  MDPI

Abstract: Despite poor absorption properties, delivery to the colon of bioactive compounds administered by the oral route has become a focus of pharmaceutical research over the last few decades. In particular, the high prevalence of Inflammatory Bowel Disease has driven interest because of the need for improved pharmacological treatments, which may provide high local drug concentrations and low systemic exposure. Colonic release has also been explored to deliver orally biologics having gut stability and permeability issues. For colon delivery, various technologies have been proposed, among which time-dependent systems rely on relatively constant small intestine transit time. Drug delivery platforms exploiting this physiological feature provide a lag time programmed to cover the entire small intestine transit and control the onset of release. Functional polymer coatings or capsule plugs are mainly used for this purpose, working through different mechanisms, such as swelling, dissolution/erosion, rupturing and/or increasing permeability, all activated by aqueous fluids. In addition, enteric coating is generally required to protect time-controlled formulations during their stay in the stomach and rule out the influence of variable gastric emptying. In this review, the rationale and main delivery technologies for oral colon delivery based on the time-dependent strategy are presented and discussed.
Keywords: colon targeting / time-controlled release / pulsatile release / time-dependent release / small intestinal transit time / in vivo human data / γ-scintigraphy

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