Mucosomes: Intrinsically Mucoadhesive Glycosylated Mucin Nanoparticles as Multi-Drug Delivery Platform

Adv Healthc Mater. 2022 Aug;11(15):e2200340. doi: 10.1002/adhm.202200340. Epub 2022 Jun 4.


Mucus is a complex barrier for pharmacological treatments and overcoming it is one of the major challenges faced during transmucosal drug delivery. To tackle this issue, a novel class of glycosylated nanoparticles, named "mucosomes," which are based on the most important protein constituting mucus, the mucin, is introduced. Mucosomes are designed to improve drug absorption and residence time on the mucosal tissues. Mucosomes are produced (150-300 nm), functionalized with glycans, and loaded with the desired drug in a single one-pot synthetic process and, with this method, a wide range of small and macro molecules can be loaded with different physicochemical properties. Various in vitro models are used to test the mucoadhesive properties of mucosomes. The presence of functional glycans is indicated by the interaction with lectins. Mucosomes are proven to be storable at 4 °C after lyophilization, and administration through a nasal spray does not modify the morphology of the mucosomes. In vitro and in vivo tests indicate mucosomes do not induce adverse effects under the investigated conditions. This study proposes mucosomes as a ground-breaking nanosystem that can be applied in several pathological contexts, especially in mucus-related disorders.

Keywords: drug-delivery; mucin; mucoadhesivity; mucosomes; mucus; nanoparticles; one-pot.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Mucins* / chemistry
  • Mucins* / metabolism
  • Mucus / metabolism
  • Nanoparticles* / chemistry
  • Proteins / metabolism


  • Mucins
  • Proteins