Novel and revisited approaches in nanoparticle systems for buccal drug delivery

Ana S. Macedo, Pedro M. Castro, Luís Roque, Natália G. Thomé, Catarina P. Reis, Manuela E. Pintado, Pedro Fonte*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)


The buccal route is considered patient friendly due to its non-invasive nature and ease of administration. Such delivery route has been used as an alternative for the delivery of drugs that undergo first-pass metabolism or are susceptible to pH and enzymatic degradation, such as occurs in the gastrointestinal tract. However, the drug concentration absorbed in the buccal mucosa is often low to obtain an acceptable therapeutic effect, mainly due to the saliva turnover, tongue and masticatory movements, phonation, enzymatic degradation and lack of epithelium permeation. Therefore, the encapsulation of drugs into nanoparticles is an important strategy to avoid such problems and improve their buccal delivery. Different materials from lipids to natural or synthetic polymers and others have been used to protect and deliver drugs in a sustained, controlled or targeted manner, and enhance their uptake through the buccal mucosa improving their bioavailability and therapeutic outcome. Overall, the main aim of this review is to perform an overview about the nanotechnological approaches developed so far to improve the buccal delivery of drugs. Herein, several types of nanoparticles and delivery strategies are addressed, and a special focus on pipeline products is also given.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-141
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2020


  • Buccal delivery
  • Drug delivery
  • Lipid
  • Nanoparticle
  • Permeation enhancer
  • Polymer


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