Nanoparticles have demonstrated significant advancements in potential oral delivery of insulin. In this publication, we review the current status of polymeric, inorganic and solid-lipid nanoparticles designed for oral administration of insulin. Firstly, the structure and physiological function of insulin are examined. Then, the efficiency and shortcomings of insulin nanoparticle are discussed. These include the susceptibility to digestive enzyme degradation, instability in the acidic pH environment, poor mucus diffusion and inadequate permeation through the gastrointestinal epithelium. In order to optimise the nanocarriers, the following considerations, including polymer nature, surface charge, size, polydispersity index and morphology of nanoparticles, have to be taken into account. Some novel designs such as chitosan-based glucose-responsive nanoparticles, layer by layer technique-based nanoparticles and zwitterion nanoparticles are being adopted to overcome the physiological challenges. The review ends with some future directions and challenges to be addressed for the success of oral delivery of insulin-loaded nanoparticle formulation.Graphical abstract
The current status of nanoparticles designed for orally-administered insulin is reviewed: strengths and barriers, novel designs to overcome such barriers, and future directions to boost success.