Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Nanoparticles decorated with proteolytic enzymes, a promising strategy to overcome the mucus barrier

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Matthew Wilcox


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


© 2015 Elsevier B.V.The intestinal mucus gel layer represents a stumbling block for drug adsorption. This study is aimed to formulate a nanoparticulate system able to overcome this barrier by cleaving locally the glycoprotein substructures of the mucus. Mucolytic enzymes such as papain (PAP) and bromelain (BRO) were covalently conjugated to poly(acrylic acid) (PAA). Nanoparticles (NPs) were then formulated via ionic gelation method and characterized by particle size, zeta potential, enzyme content and enzymatic activity. The NPs permeation quantified by rotating tube studies was correlated with changes in the mucus gel layer structure determined by pulsed-gradient-spin-echo NMR (PGSE-NMR), small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) and spin-echo SANS (SESANS). PAP and BRO functionalized NPs had an average size in the range of 250 and 285 nm and a zeta potential that ranged between -6 and -5 mV. The enzyme content was 242 μg enzyme/mg for PAP modified NPs and 253 μg enzyme/mg for BRO modified NPs. The maintained enzymatic activity was 43% for PAP decorated NPs and 76% for BRO decorated NPs. The rotating tube technique revealed a better performance of BRO decorated NPs compared to PAA decorated NPs, with a 4.8-fold higher concentration of NPs in the inner slice of mucus. Addition of 0.5 wt% of enzyme functionalized NPs to 5 wt% intestinal mucin led to c.a. 2-fold increase in the mobility of the mucin as measured by PGSE-NMR indicative of a significant break-up of the structure of the mucin. SANS and SESANS measurements further revealed a change in structure of the intestinal mucus induced by the incorporation of the functionalized NPs mostly occurring at a length scale longer than 0.5 μm. Accordingly, BRO decorated NPs show higher potential than PAP functionalized NPs as mucus permeating drug delivery systems.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Pereira De Sousa I, Cattoz B, Wilcox MD, Griffiths PC, Dalgliesh R, Rogers S, Bernkop-Schnurch A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics

Year: 2015

Volume: 97

Issue: Part A

Pages: 257-264

Print publication date: 01/11/2015

Online publication date: 07/02/2015

Acceptance date: 12/01/2015

ISSN (print): 0939-6411

ISSN (electronic): 1873-3441

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpb.2015.01.008

PubMed id: 25661320


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric


Find at Newcastle University icon    Link to this publication