Dana Elshaerb, Jakob Begun*b, Amirali Popat a,b, *


aThe School of Pharmacy, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia
bInflammatory Disease Biology and Therapeutics Group– The University of Queensland, Translational Research Institute, 37 Kent St, Woolloongabba, QLD 4102, Australia


Oral route of administration remains the most preferred route for the application of pharmaceuticals, due to its ease of administration and patience compliance. However, oral delivery of many small molecule drugs and most of the peptide drugs is challenging. This results in their restricted commercial use, as well as serious clinical development tradeoffs that often result in poor efficacy and side effects associated with it. Although many new drug delivery methods including nanoparticles have been developed in response to the rising demand, little emphasis is given towards development of smart and programmable nanoparticles as a carrier for oral peptide/protein delivery. Targeted delivery of therapeutic proteins to the gut would be advantageous for treating gut inflammation, but is challenging due to the harsh gastrointestinal environment that can destroy these proteins. We have preliminary data showing that our custom synthesized nano-sized drug carriers (smart mesoporous silica nanoparticles) can be loaded with large drug proteins (BSA and Interlukin-22) with a record high efficiency and that the loaded proteins retained their ability to trigger biological responses. Finally, in chemically induced murine colitis intra-rectal delivery of IL-22 loaded MSNs resulted in significant changes in the expression of relevant biologic pathways, determined using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (QT-PCR) consistent with targeted-release of IL-22 in the distal colon. Localised release of IL-22 by MSNs was confirmed by low serum levels of IL-22 compared to mice injected with IL-22. This innovative technology has the potential to revolutionise the treatment of gut disorders.

Biographic Details

Name: Dr. Amirali Popat

Title: NHMRC Early Career Fellow

Affiliation, Country: The School of Pharmacy, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia

Phone: +6133461870 E-mail: a.popat@uq.edu.au

Research interests: Smart Biomaterials, Oral Drug Delivery, Nanomedicine, Formulation