Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, Vol.582, 364-375, 2021
Zwitterion-functionalized mesoporous silica nanoparticles for enhancing oral delivery of protein drugs by overcoming multiple gastrointestinal barriers
Oral delivery of protein or peptide drugs confronts several barriers, the intestinal epithelium and the mucus barrier on the gastrointestinal tract is deemed to be the toughest obstacles. However, overcoming these two obstacles requires contradictory surface properties of a nanocarrier. In the present work, meso-porous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) were modified with deoxycholic acid (DC) and coated with sulfobetaine 12 (SB12) for the first time to achieve both improved mucus permeation and transepithelial absorption. MSNs modified with stearic acid and coated with dilauroylphosphatidylcholine (DLPC) or Pluronic P123 were also prepared as controls. The SB12 coated DC modified MSN had high drug loading of 22.2%. The zwitterion coating endows the MSN improved mucus penetrating ability. In addition, the carrier also showed remarkable affinity with epithelial cells. The cellular uptake was significantly improved (10-fold for Caco-2 cells and 8-fold for E12 cells). The results also indicated that the DC modified carrier was able to avoid entry into lysosomes. It can increase the absorption of loaded insulin in all intestine segments and showed outstanding hypoglycemic effect in diabetic rats. The results suggest the zwitterion-functionalized MSNs might be a good candidate for oral protein delivery. (C) 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.