The effect of hypergravity in intestinal permeability of nanoformulations and molecules

Cláudia Azevedo, Maria Helena Macedo, Andreia Almeida, Soraia Pinto, Jack J. W. A. van Loon, Bruno Sarmento

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The oral administration of drugs remains a challenge due to rapid enzymatic degradation and minimal absorption in the gastrointestinal tract. Mechanical forces, namely hypergravity, can interfere with cellular integrity and drug absorption, and there is no study describing its influence in the intestinal permeability. In this work, it was studied the effect of hypergravity on intestinal Caco-2 cells and its influence in the intestinal permeability of different nanoformulations and molecules. It was shown that the cellular metabolic activity and integrity were maintained after exposure to different gravity-levels (g-levels). Expression of important drug transporters and tight junctions’ proteins was evaluated and, most proteins demonstrated a switch of behavior in their expression. Furthermore, paracellular transport of FITC-Dextran showed to significantly increase with hypergravity, which agrees with the decrease of transepithelial electrical resistance and the increase of claudin-2 at higher g-levels. The diffusion of camptothecin released from polymeric micelles revealed a significant decrease, which agrees with the increased expression of the P-gp observed with the increase in g-levels, responsible for pumping this drug out. The neonatal Fc receptor-mediated transport of albumin-functionalized nanoparticles loaded with insulin showed no significant changes when increasing the g-levels. Thus, this study supports the effect of hypergravity on intestinal permeability is dependent on the molecule studied and the mechanism by which it is absorbed in the intestine.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-48
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean journal of pharmaceutics and biopharmaceutics : official journal of Arbeitsgemeinschaft fur Pharmazeutische Verfahrenstechnik e.V
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021


  • Caco-2 model
  • Cellular integrity
  • Intestinal absorption
  • Large diameter centrifuge
  • Nanoparticles
  • Polymeric micelles

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