Oral drug delivery is the preferred route of administration due to its minimal invasive nature and convenience for the patients. However, it has key challenges and limitations:
(i) Many potent drugs like proteins and peptides (e.g. insulin) cannot survive the passage through the gastrointestinal tract.
(ii) Release kinetics need to be controlled (time, location, amount).
(iii) A large part of newly discovered drugs, such as HIV compounds, has low solubility and/or permeability.
(iv) Many drug treatments require combined or simultaneous release of several compounds.
(v) Amorphous drugs have enhanced solubility and dissolution rate.
However, long-term stability is a challenge since the drugs recrystallize. The goal of IDUN is to explore micrometer-sized containers for oral drug delivery.
The containers will act as small toolboxes where the interior can be designed with sub-compartments and a variety of bioactive agents (tools) will be loaded depending on the application.
We will use the containers to: protect potentially labile active pharmaceutical ingredients, control release kinetics, enable adhesion to the intestinal mucosa, realize unidirectional release, facilitate combined or sequential release of several drugs, and stabilize drugs in their amorphous form.