- The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan
- Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin (ISSN:09186158)
- vol.38, no.4, pp.497-506, 2015-04-01 (Released:2015-04-01)
Nasal mucociliary clearance is one of the most important factors affecting nasal delivery of drugs and vaccines. This is also the most important physiological defense mechanism inside the nasal cavity. It removes inhaled (and delivered) particles, microbes and substances trapped in the mucus. Almost all inhaled particles are trapped in the mucus carpet and transported with a rate of 8–10 mm/h toward the pharynx. This transport is conducted by the ciliated cells, which contain about 100–250 motile cellular appendages called cilia, 0.3 µm wide and 5 µm in length that beat about 1000 times every minute or 12–15 Hz. For efficient mucociliary clearance, the interaction between the cilia and the nasal mucus needs to be well structured, where the mucus layer is a tri-layer: an upper gel layer that floats on the lower, more aqueous solution, called the periciliary liquid layer and a third layer of surfactants between these two main layers. Pharmacokinetic calculations of the mucociliary clearance show that this mechanism may account for a substantial difference in bioavailability following nasal delivery. If the formulation irritates the nasal mucosa, this mechanism will cause the irritant to be rapidly diluted, followed by increased clearance, and swallowed. The result is a much shorter duration inside the nasal cavity and therefore less nasal bioavailability.