Transmucosal drug delivery is a promising avenue to improve therapeutic efficacy through localized therapeutic administration. Drug delivery systems that increase retention in the mucosal layer are needed to improve efficiency of such transmucosal platforms. However, the applicability of such systems is often limited by the range of chemistries and properties that can be achieved. Here we present the design and implementation of silk-elastin-like proteins (SELPs) with mucoadhesive properties. SELP-based micellar-like nanoparticles provide a system to tailor chemical and physical properties through genetic engineering of the SELP sequence, which enables the fabrication of nanoparticles with specific chemical and physical features. Analysis of the adhesion of four different SELP-based nanoparticle systems in an artificial mucus system, as well as in in vitro cellular assays indicates that addition of mucoadhesive chemical features on the SELP systems increases retention of the particles in mucosal environments. The results indicated that SELP-based nanoparticles provide a useful approach to study and develop transmucosal protein drug delivery system with unique mucoadhesive properties. Future studies will serve to further expand the range of achievable properties, as well as the utilization of SELPs to fabricate mucoadhesive materials for in vivo testing.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited