Main Article Content
Mucoadhesive drug delivery systems bind to the mucus layer covering the mucosal epithelial surface and enhance the residence time of the dosage form at the place of absorption. The process of mucoadhesion is a complex incident which contains wetting, adsorption and interpenetration of polymer chains among the other delivery systems. The mucoadhesive capability of a dosage form depends on a variety of factors such as nature of the mucosal membrane and physicochemical properties of formulation. The ideal character of a mucoadhesive polymer includes without any change in the physical property of the delivery matrix, minimum interference to release the active agent and inhibit the enzymes present at the delivery site and enhance the penetration of the active agent. Mucoadhesive polymers have been used to enhance the contact time for a wide variety of drugs and routes of administration has shown dramatic enhancement in both specific therapies and more general patient compliance. This article mainly reviews about the advantages, composition and functions of mucus, mechanism and various theories of mucoadhesion and different types of mucoadhesive polymers. It also emphasizes about the different mucoadhesive drug delivery systems (oral, nasal, ocular, gastro, vaginal and rectal), existing mucoadhesive formulations and finally evaluation parameters of mucoadhesive systems.
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