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Thiolated polymers or designated thiomers are mucoadhesive polymers which display thiol group bearing side chains. In brief, low molecular mass thiol group bearing compounds are covalently bound to a polymeric backbone. This backbone consists of well-established and safe polymers such as chitosan or poly(acrylic acid). It has been demonstrated in various studies, that thiomers exhibit mucoadhesive, permeation enhancing, controlled release as well as enzyme and efflux pump inhibitory properties. These features make the thiomer technology highly interesting for non-invasive delivery routes, including in first instance the oral but also the nasal, buccal and vaginal route. Thiomers can be directly compressed to tablets or given as solutions. Furthermore thiomer based micro- and nanoparticles have already been developed.
Numerous original research and review articles as well as book contributions have been published in recent years:
Additional recommended knowledge
Original Research articles
Thiomers are capable of forming disulfide bonds with cysteine substructures of the mucus gel layer covering mucosal membranes. Because of this property they exhibit up to 100-fold higher mucoadhesive properties in comparison to the corresponding unthiolated polymers.
Thiomers are able to reversibly open tight junctions. Due to thiolation the permeation enhancing effect of polymers such as polyacrylic acid or chitosan can be up to 10-fold ımproved.
Efflux Pump Inhibition
Thiomers are able to reversibly inhıbit efflux pumps. Because of this property the mucosal uptake of various efflux pump substrates such as anticancer drugs, antimycotic drugs and antiinflammatory drugs can be tremendously ımproved.
Due to the binding of metal ions, which are needed by various enzymes to maintain their enzymatic activity, thiomers are potent reversible inhibitors of various enzymes.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Thiomer". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|