Background: This paper provides a critical review of biopolymer-based substrates, especially the cellulose derivatives, for their application in buccal drug delivery. Drug delivery to the buccal mucous has the benefits of immobile muscle, abundant vascularization and rapid recovery, but not all the drugs can be administered through the buccal mucosa (e.g., macromolecular drugs), due to the low bioavailability caused by their large molecular size. This shortfall inspired the rapid development of drug-compounding technologies and the corresponding usage of biopolymer substrates.
Methods: Cellulose derivatives have been extensively developed for drug manufacturing to facilitate its delivery. We engaged in structured research of cellulose-based drug compounding technologies. We summarized the characteristic cellulose derivatives which have been used as the biocompatible substrates in buccal delivery systems. The discussion of potential use of the rapidly-developed nanocellulose (NC) is also notable in this paper.
Results: Seventy-eight papers were referenced in this perspective paper with the majority (sixty-five) published later than 2010. Forty-seven papers defined the buccal drug delivery systems and their substrates. Fifteen papers outlined the properties and applications of cellulose derivatives. Nanocellulose was introduced as a leading edge of nanomaterial with sixteen papers highlighted its adaptability in drug compounding for buccal delivery.
Conclusion: The findings of this perspective paper proposed the potential use of cellulose derivatives, the typical kind of biopolymers, in the buccal drug delivery system for promoting the bioavailability of macromolecular drugs. Nanocellulose (NC) in particular was proposed as an innovative bio-binder/carrier for the controlled-release of drugs in buccal system.
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