The oral delivery of proteins using interpolymer polyelectrolyte complexes

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In spite of the numerous barriers inherent in the oral delivery of therapeutically active proteins, research into the development of functional protein-delivery systems is still intense. The effectiveness of such oral protein-delivery systems depend on their ability to protect the incorporated protein from proteolytic degradation in the GI tract and enhance its intestinal absorption without significantly compromising the bioactivity of the protein. Among these delivery systems are polyelectrolyte complexes (PECs) which are composed of polyelectrolyte polymers complexed with a protein via coulombic and other interactions. This review will focus on the current status of PECs with a particular emphasis on the potential and limitations of multi- or inter-polymer PECs used to facilitate oral protein delivery.

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