Molecular Modeling of Intestinal Mucus
Intestinal mucus forms a viscous membrane across which a drug must first diffuse before being absorbed into the blood stream and is believed to be a main barrier to absorption of many drugs, especially drugs with poor water solubility. The goal of this project is to develop a molecular model of the intestinal mucus membrane utilizing analytical measurements (such as Electron Paramagnetic Resonance) and experimental validation (macroscopic diffusion studies) as guidance. This model will be used to study molecular-level interactions between drugs and mucus components and their influence on drug transport, enabling more efficient drug design and delivery. The model will also be used to study the influence of drug delivery technologies (e.g. lipids) on molecular interactions between mucus molecules and also between drug and mucus, enabling greater understanding of how these technologies influence mucus structure and drug transport.