Development of in situ gelling and bio adhesive 5-Fluorouracil enema.

Research paper by Lu-Lu LL Wang, Wen-Sheng WS Zheng, Shao-Hua SH Chen, Xia-Qin XQ Fang

Indexed on: 27 Aug '13Published on: 27 Aug '13Published in: PloS one


In this study, a novel 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) enema with good bio adhesion and temperature sensitivity was developed using in situ gelling technology. The preparation was formulated as a free-flowing liquid before use, while a layer of gel film was quickly formed when administered in the rectum, with a large contact surface area. It also demonstrated good biocompatibility, appropriate gel strength and bio adhesive force with excellent adhesion to rectal mucosa and prolonged action time, allowing more effective drug absorption and diffusion to surrounding tissues. Poloxamer 407 and poloxamer 188 were applied to adjust the gelling temperature. With the addition of carbopol and polycarbophil (bio adhesive substances), the solubility of 5-FU and gel strength increased, the temperature of gelation and the surface area of drug contact on mucous epithelium decreased. Decreased adhesive force between the preparation and the mucous membrane of the rectum was demonstrated with improving carbopol and polycarbophil's concentration. In vitro release demonstrated that 5-FU in situ gelling enema with different bases had a rapid and almost complete drug release. We used an optimized formulation of P407/P188/polycarbophil/5-FU (17/2.5/0.2/1.0) for animal experiments. The result showed that the drug evenly covered the surface of the rectum and there was no leakage in 6 hours. The in situ gelling enema showed significantly higher rectal tissue levels of 5-FU compared with suppository and intravenous administration, indicating that 5-FU could be well absorbed due to the enlarged releasing area, longer retention time and larger amount of dissolved active ingredients. Systemically, 5-FU levels in the enema group were similar to those in the suppository group and significantly lower than the intravenous group. The enema was not associated with morphological damage to rectal tissue. These results suggest that the bio adhesive and in situ gelling enema could be a more effective rectal delivery system of 5-FU.