Our long-term goal is the development of systems providing controlled drug delivery of a broad set of therapeutics including those that are limited to parenteral routes. In this proposal, we build on our prior work to focus on the gastrointestinal (GI) barrier and specifically propose a platform enabling the high-throughput GI transport evaluation of novel formulations rapidly. Developing therapies which are compatible with oral administration, requires significant formulation and in vitro and in vivo evaluation for maximal oral bioavailability in humans. Current in vitro models of GI absorption are limited by their throughput and approximation of the physiologic state. Consequently, we propose: 1) the development of systems enabling prolonged culturing of intact mammalian GI tissue coupled to 2) high-throughput robotics to transform formulation development and study of the GI tract. These investigations are supported by strong preliminary data demonstrating: 1) culture conditions which maintain the presence of a broad set of cellular markers and drug transporters ex vivo in porcine GI tissue, 2) fabrication of prototype systems enabling high-throughput interrogation, 3) demonstration of predictive capacity of drug absorption for a large panel of drugs, 4) demonstration of near order of magnitude enhancement of uptake of a model molecule following a large-scale excipient screen. Currently, promising therapeutics which are poorly absorbed through the oral route can manifest in drug development delays on the order of years and many times no formulation solution is identified. The proposed work will target a critical unmet clinical need by providing tools to rapidly identify formulations that enable: maximal drug solubility and absorption and minimal local toxicity. Moreover, the proposed system will enable interrogation and study of the GI tract entero-endocrine system enabling the discovery of new therapies for metabolic disorders. Through this proposal we will develop a novel set of formulations and novel material-drug combinations enabling the oral delivery of drugs previously restricted to parenteral routes. Moreover, we will develop novel modulators of the enteroendocrine system providing novel solutions to the metabolic disease epidemic. In sum, this proposal aims to provide a platform akin to an ?intestine-on-a-chip? with the capacity to transform formulation science and the study of the GI tract with the potential to transform treatments for metabolic disease and other diseases of the GI tract.

Public Health Relevance

This proposal aims to develop an in vitro model of the gastrointestinal tract with all of the native cellular components found in a large mammal and interface with high-throughput robotics for the development of novel treatments. Specifically, it will contribute to the improvement in management of multiple diseases by providing drug formulations which can be readily absorbed orally including the absorption macromolecules.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
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Xenobiotic and Nutrient Disposition and Action Study Section (XNDA)
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Selimovic, Seila
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Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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