Assessing Mucoadhesion in Polymer Gels
The Effect of Method Type and Instrument Variables
The process of mucoadhesion has been widely studied using a wide variety of methods, which are influenced by instrumental variables and experiment design, making the comparison between the results of different studies difficult. The aim of this work was to standardize the conditions of the detachment test and the rheological methods of mucoadhesion assessment for semisolids, and introduce a texture profile analysis (TPA) method. A factorial design was developed to suggest standard conditions for performing the detachment force method. To evaluate the method, binary polymeric systems were prepared containing poloxamer 407 and Carbopol 971P®, Carbopol 974P®, or Noveon® Polycarbophil. The mucoadhesion of systems was evaluated, and the reproducibility of these measurements investigated. This detachment force method was demonstrated to be reproduceable, and gave different adhesion when mucin disk or ex vivo oral mucosa was used. The factorial design demonstrated that all evaluated parameters had an effect on measurements of mucoadhesive force, but the same was not observed for the work of adhesion. It was suggested that the work of adhesion is a more appropriate metric for evaluating mucoadhesion. Oscillatory rheology was more capable of investigating adhesive interactions than flow rheology. TPA method was demonstrated to be reproducible and can evaluate the adhesiveness interaction parameter. This investigation demonstrates the need for standardized methods to evaluate mucoadhesion and makes suggestions for a standard study design.