Incorporation of Lysozyme into a Mucoadhesive Electrospun Patch for Rapid Protein Delivery to the Oral Mucosa

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Jake G. Edmans, Craig Murdoch, Martin E. Santocildes-Romero, Paul V. Hatton, Helen E. Colley and Sebastian G. Spain; Mat. Sci. Eng. C., 2020, 112, 110917. [DOI] [PDF] open access logo


The delivery of biopharmaceuticals to the oral mucosa offers a range of potential applications including antimicrobial peptides to treat resistant infections, growth factors for tissue regeneration, or as an alternative to injections for systemic delivery. Existing formulations targeting this site are typically non-specific and provide little control over dose. To address this, an electrospun dual-layer mucoadhesive patch was investigated for protein delivery to the oral mucosa. Lysozyme was used as a model antimicrobial protein and incorporated into poly(vinylpyrrolidone)/Eudragit RS100 polymer nanofibers using electrospinning from an ethanol/water mixture. The resulting fibrous membranes released the protein at a clinically desirable rate, reaching 90 ± 13% cumulative release after 2 h. Dual fluorescent fibre labelling and confocal microscopy demonstrated th homogeneity of lysozyme and polymer distribution. High encapsulation efficiency and preservation of enzyme activity were achieved (93.4 ± 7.0% and 96.1 ± 3.3% respectively). The released lysozyme inhibited the growth of the oral bacterium Streptococcus ratti, providing further evidence of retention of biological activity and illustrating a potential application for treating and preventing oral infections. An additional protective poly(caprolactone) backing layer was introduced to promote unidirectional delivery, without loss of enzyme activity, and the resulting dual-layer patches displayed long residence times using an in vitro test, showing that the adhesive properties were maintained. This study demonstrates that the drug delivery system has great potential for the delivery of therapeutic proteins to the oral mucosa