Purpose: 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. Methods: 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. Results: 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. Conclusions: 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.
- drug release
- nanofibrillar cellulose