Bioadhesion can be defined as a phenomenon of interfacial molecular attractive forces in the midst of the surfaces of the biological substrate and the natural or synthetic polymers, which allows the polymer to adhere to the biological surface for an extended period of time. Bioadhesive polymeric systems have been used since extent in the development of products for various biomedical applications which include denture adhesives and surgical glue. Considerable attention has been focused in recent years on the delivery of drugs through the oral mucosa which have a high first pass metabolism or degrade in the gastrointestinal tract. Buccal delivery involves the administration of the desired drug through the buccal mucosal membrane lining of the oral cavity. Unlike oral drug delivery, which presents a hostile environment for drugs, especially proteins and polypeptides, due to acid hydrolysis and the hepatic first-pass effect, the mucosal lining of buccal tissues provides a much milder environment for drug absorption. Mucoadhesive controlled-release devices can improve the effectiveness of a drug by maintaining the drug concentration between the effective and toxic levels, inhibiting the dilution of the drug in the body fluids, and allowing targeting and localization of a drug at a specific site. Mucoadhesive characteristics are a factor of both the bioadhesive polymer and the medium in which the polymer will reside. Buccal dosage forms can be of Matrix or Reservoir types. However, this route could become a significant means for the delivery of a range of active agents in the coming years, if the barriers to buccal drug delivery are overcome.
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