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Issue 41, 2019
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Biomaterial–tight junction interaction and potential impacts

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The active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) have to cross the natural barriers and get into the blood to impart the pharmacological effects. The tight junctions (TJs) between the epithelial cells serve as the major selectively permeable barriers and control the paracellular transport of the majority of hydrophilic drugs, in particular, peptides and proteins. TJs perfectly balance the targeted transport and the exclusion of other unexpected pathogens under the normal conditions. Many biomaterials have shown the capability to open the TJs and improve the oral bioavailability and targeting efficacy of the APIs. Nevertheless, there is limited understanding of the biomaterial–TJ interactions. The opening of the TJs further poses the risk of autoimmune diseases and infections. This review article summarizes the most updated literature and presents insights into the TJ structure, the biomaterial–TJ interaction mechanism, the benefits and drawbacks of TJ disruption, and methods for evaluating such interactions.

Graphical abstract: Biomaterial–tight junction interaction and potential impacts

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Article information

30 May 2019
22 Jul 2019
First published
23 Jul 2019

J. Mater. Chem. B, 2019,7, 6310-6320
Article type
Review Article
Author version available

Biomaterial–tight junction interaction and potential impacts

X. Han, E. Zhang, Y. Shi, B. Song, H. Du and Z. Cao, J. Mater. Chem. B, 2019, 7, 6310
DOI: 10.1039/C9TB01081E

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