Oral protein delivery: Current status and future prospect

Kyeongsoon Park, Ick Chan Kwon, Kinam Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

238 Citations (Scopus)


Advances in biotechnology have produced therapeutically active proteins on a commercial scale, and therapeutic proteins are now extensively applied in medical practices to treat various diseases. Oral delivery of protein drugs is a highly attractive approach, and, naturally, numerous attempts have been made to develop such formulations. Despite various attempts, however, no clinically useful oral formulations have been developed, and this is mainly due to extremely low bioavailability of protein drugs. The effective oral protein delivery needs to overcome barriers related to poor absorption, poor permeation, and degradation in the gastrointestinal tract. Various strategies have been explored for enhancing the bioavailability of orally administered proteins. They include chemical modification of protein drugs, use of enzyme inhibitors, and exploration of special formulation ingredients, such as absorption enhancers and mucoadhesive polymers. This article examines the current technologies under development for oral protein delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-287
Number of pages8
JournalReactive and Functional Polymers
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Mar

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported in part by the Showalter Trust Fund from Purdue Research Foundation and by the Global Research Laboratory Project of Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of South Korea.


  • Oral formulations
  • Oral protein delivery
  • Particulate delivery systems
  • Protein drugs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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