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Comparing the permeability of human and porcine small intestinal mucus for particle transport studies

Abstract : The gastrointestinal mucus layer represents the last barrier between ingested food or orally administered pharmaceuticals and the mucosal epithelium. This complex gel structure plays an important role in the process of small intestinal absorption. It provides protection against hazardous particles such as bacteria but allows the passage of nutrients and drug molecules towards the intestinal epithelium. In scientific research, mucus from animal sources is usually used to simulate difficult-to-obtain human small intestinal mucus for investigating the intramucus transport of drug delivery systems or food nanoparticles. However, there is a lack of evidence the human mucus can be reliably substituted by animal counterparts for human-relevant transport models. In this report, a procedure for collecting human mucus has been described. More importantly, the permeability characteristics of human and porcine small intestinal mucus secretions to sub-micron sized particles have been compared under simulated intestinal conditions. Negatively charged, 500 nm latex beads were used in multiple-particle tracking experiments to examine the heterogeneity and penetrability of mucus from different sources. Diffusion of the probe particles in adult human ileal mucus and adult pig jejunal and ileal mucus revealed no significant differences in microstructural organisation or microviscosity between the three mucus types (P > 0.05). In contrast to this interspecies similarity, the intraspecies comparison of particle diffusivity in the mucus obtained from adult pigs vs. 2-week old piglets showed better penetrability of the piglet mucus. The mean Stokes–Einstein viscosity of the piglet jejunal mucus was approx. two times lower than the viscosity of the pig jejunal mucus (P < 0.05). All mucus structures were also visualised by scanning electron microscopy. This work validates the use of porcine small intestinal mucus collected from fully-grown pigs for studying colloidal transport of sub-micron sized particles in mucus under conditions mimicking the adult human small intestinal environment.
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Submitted on : Thursday, February 4, 2021 - 2:53:52 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, February 6, 2021 - 3:30:56 AM


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Lukasz Krupa, Balazs Bajka, Robert Staroń, Didier Dupont, Harjinder Singh, et al.. Comparing the permeability of human and porcine small intestinal mucus for particle transport studies. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2020, 10 (1), ⟨10.1038/s41598-020-77129-4⟩. ⟨hal-03131586⟩



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