Pharmaceutical Research

, 35:145 | Cite as

Pectin and Mucin Enhance the Bioadhesion of Drug Loaded Nanofibrillated Cellulose Films

  • Patrick Laurén
  • Heli Paukkonen
  • Tiina Lipiäinen
  • Yujiao Dong
  • Timo Oksanen
  • Heikki Räikkönen
  • Henrik Ehlers
  • Päivi Laaksonen
  • Marjo Yliperttula
  • Timo Laaksonen
Research Paper



Bioadhesion is an important property of biological membranes, that can be utilized in pharmaceutical and biomedical applications. In this study, we have fabricated mucoadhesive drug releasing films with bio-based, non-toxic and biodegradable polymers that do not require chemical modifications.


Nanofibrillar cellulose and anionic type nanofibrillar cellulose were used as film forming materials with known mucoadhesive components mucin, pectin and chitosan as functional bioadhesion enhancers. Different polymer combinations were investigated to study the adhesiveness, solid state characteristics, film morphology, swelling, mechanical properties, drug release with the model compound metronidazole and in vitro cytotoxicity using TR146 cells to model buccal epithelium.


SEM revealed lamellar structures within the films, which had a thickness ranging 40–240 μm depending on the film polymer composition. All bioadhesive components were non-toxic and showed high adhesiveness. Rapid drug release was observed, as 60–80% of the total amount of metronidazole was released in 30 min depending on the film formulation.


The liquid molding used was a straightforward and simple method to produce drug releasing highly mucoadhesive films, which could be utilized in treating local oral diseases, such as periodontitis. All materials used were natural biodegradable polymers from renewable sources, which are generally regarded as safe.


bioadhesion drug release mucoadhesion nanofibrillar cellulose TR146 



Nanofibrillar cellulose


Anionic type nanofibrillar cellulose





The financial support from Academy of Finland (Grant No. 258114) is gratefully acknowledged. Orion Foundation of the Professor Pool, Finland is greatly acknowledged.

Supplementary material

11095_2018_2428_MOESM1_ESM.docx (503 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 502 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick Laurén
    • 1
  • Heli Paukkonen
    • 1
  • Tiina Lipiäinen
    • 2
  • Yujiao Dong
    • 3
  • Timo Oksanen
    • 1
  • Heikki Räikkönen
    • 2
  • Henrik Ehlers
    • 2
  • Päivi Laaksonen
    • 3
  • Marjo Yliperttula
    • 1
    • 4
  • Timo Laaksonen
    • 1
    • 5
  1. 1.Division of Pharmaceutical Biosciences, Faculty of PharmacyUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Division of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology, Faculty of PharmacyUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  3. 3.Department of Bioproducts and BiosystemsAalto UniversityEspooFinland
  4. 4.Department of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological SciencesUniversity of PadovaPadovaItaly
  5. 5.Laboratory of Chemistry and BioengineeringTampere University of TechnologyTampereFinland

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