Synthesis and characterisation of mucoadhesive thiolated polyallylamine

Sarah Duggan, Helen Hughes, Eleanor Owens, Elaine Duggan, Wayne Cummins, Orla O'Donovan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


The thiolation of polyallylamine (PAAm) for use in mucoadhesive drug delivery has been achieved. PAAm was reacted with different ratios of Traut's reagent, yielding products with thiol contents ranging from 134-487 μmol/g. Full mucoadhesive characterisation of the thiolated PAAm samples was conducted using swelling studies, mucoadhesive testing on porcine intestinal tissue and rheology. Both swelling and cohesive properties of the thiolated PAAm products were vastly improved in comparison to an unmodified PAAm control. The swelling abilities of the thiolated samples were high and the degree of thiolation of the products affected the initial rate of swelling. High levels of mucoadhesion were demonstrated by the thiolated PAAm samples, with adhesion times of greater than 24 h measured for all three samples and, thus, thiol content did not appear to influence mucoadhesion. Rheological studies of the thiolated PAAm samples showed an increase in G′ and G″ values upon the addition of a mucin solution which was not observed in the unmodified control, again highlighting the mucoadhesive interactions between these thiolated polymers and mucin. The synthesis of thiolated PAAm by reaction with Traut's reagent and resulting mucoadhesive properties demonstrates its potential for use a mucoadhesive drug delivery device.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)368-375
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 29 Feb 2016


  • Mucoadhesion
  • Polyallylamine
  • Thiolation
  • Traut's reagent


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