Evaluation of Clay-Functionalized Wafers and Films for Nicotine Replacement Therapy via Buccal Mucosa

Joshua Boateng and Obinna Okeke

The functional physicochemical properties of nicotine (NIC)-loaded composite freeze-dried wafers and solvent-evaporated films comprising hydroxypropylmethylcellulose (HPMC) and sodium alginate (SA), stabilized with magnesium aluminium silicate (MAS), have been reported. The formulations were characterized for swelling capacity, mucoadhesion, in vitro drug dissolution properties in simulated saliva (SS) and PBS at pH 6.8, and ex vivo and in vitro permeation using pig buccal mucosa membrane and EpiOral buccal tissue culture, respectively; finally, the cell viability of the EpiOral tissues after contact with the NIC-loaded formulations was investigated using 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay and the functional characteristics compared with those of commercially available NIC strips. Swelling and NIC release from the HPMC–SA wafers were more prolonged (30 min) compared to the commercially available NIC strips which disintegrated rapidly and released the drug within 5 min. Generally, swelling, mucoadhesion, and drug release was faster in PBS than in SS, and the presence of MAS was essential for maintaining a high dose recovery compared to non-MAS formulations and commercial NIC strips, which showed lower percentage of NIC content, possibly due to evaporation during analysis. Permeation studies showed that the NIC released was able to cross both porcine buccal membrane and the EpiOral buccal tissue, with the latter showing higher permeation flux for all the formulations tested. All the NIC-loaded, MAS-stabilized formulations showed high tissue viability, with values above 80%, showing their great potential for use as buccal delivery platforms for NIC replacement therapy to aid smoking cessation.


EpiOral (ORL-200), nicotine, nicotine-loaded wafers, pic buccal mucosa, permeation, transbuccal permeability, MTT

Materials Tested

wafers, films, magnesium aluminum silicate, hydroxypropylmethylcellulose, sodium alginate

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