Micromoter Drug Delivery System Targets Gastric Mucosa
Micromoter Drug Delivery System Targets Gastric Mucosa
  • Reporter Han Sang-yun
  • 승인 2021.12.14 01:26
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▲Administration and principle of micromotor drug delivery system
▲Administration and principle of micromotor drug delivery system


A Korean research team led by Professor Sei Kwang Hahn (MSE) has developed a micromotor that passes through the gastric mucosa, stays in the stomach for over 24 hours, delivers a drug to the targeted tissue, and is completely discharged out of the body.
Helicobacter pylori, which parasites on the mucus secreted from gastric mucosa, easily passes through the gastric mucosa. By mimicking the parasitic nature of H. pylori, the research team designed a urease (an enzyme that dissolves urea)-based micromotor drug carrier that delivers a drug to the stomach for more than 24 hours.
Micromotors and nanomotors, which are very small in size, have come into the spotlight recently for being a new system of drug delivery with an outstanding ability to transport molecules. Micromotors and nanomotors developed so far generally contain metal components such as zinc and magnesium. However, metal components can easily cause long-term organ damage since they may promote excessive drug delivery by reacting with the moisture in the organs. Also, the drug carrier remains undissolved in the body after delivering the drug.
The research team developed a urease-based micromotor using biodegradable polymers, imitating H. pylori’s characteristics which allow it to penetrate the gastric mucosa and survive long in the stomach.
This motor generates momentum as ammonia gas is generated from the reaction between urea and urease on the motor surface. Simultaneously, the acidity (pH) increases and liquefies and liquefies the surrounding area, allowing drugs to be delivered into the mucous membrane.
From animal experiments, the micromotor administered to the mouth is reported to stay in the stomach for 24 hours and to be completely discharged out of the body three days after the drug delivery. Hence, the micromotor system is confirmed to be biocompatible.
Prof. Hahn said, “our micromotor can penetrate the stomach wall more strongly and stay longer than previous drug delivery systems,” adding, “it can be applied to treating various stomach diseases including gastroenteritis and stomach cancer.”
This research, supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea, was published online in Bioactive Materials and BioMaterials.