Indexed on: 10 Aug '11Published on: 10 Aug '11Published in: Drug delivery
Therapeutic peptide and protein drugs have high specificity and activity in their functions but present challenges in their administration route, requiring development of new delivery systems to improve their bioavailability. The aim of this work was to investigate the role of N-trimethyl chitosan- (TMC-) coated liposomes in the oral administration of calcitonin. TMC with a degree of quaternization around 78% was synthesized and its mucoadhesive properties were examined in vitro using the mucin-particle method, which confirmed that TMC showed mucoadhesion comparable to that of chitosan. TMC-coated liposomes containing calcitonin were prepared and characterized as having a particle size of 262 nm, zeta potential of 35.8 mV and high entrapment efficiency (89.1%). The in vivo evaluation of mucoadhesion was carried out using confocal laser microscopy to observe the residence time and permeation extent after intragastric administration. The results showed that TMC-coated liposomes prolonged the residence time and increased the penetration effect of the liposomal system compared to non-coated liposomes. The study of pharmacological effects confirmed that TMC-coated liposomes increased the area above the blood calcium concentration-time curves (AAC) from 3.13 ± 20.50 to 448.84 ± 103.56 compared to the calcitonin solution. These results support the feasibility of TMC-coated liposomes as a new oral delivery system for peptide and protein drugs.