Successful mucosal administration and delivery of drugs still pose a great challenge. However, the possibility to deliver not only small drug molecules but also macromolecular drugs and nanoparticles via mucosal surfaces represents a great opportunity. Rapid onset of drug action, avoidance of first-pass metabolism, and high immunocompetence of mucosa are some of the important features for mucosal drug and vaccine delivery. The use of mucoadhesive drug delivery systems, systems with fast dissolving properties, and nanomaterials with mucus penetration properties are examples of successful strategies to achieve effective mucosal drug and vaccine delivery. Non-keratinized mucosa of the oral cavity, the nasal and vaginal mucosa represent favorable sites of drug administration. Polymer nanofibers have attracted much attention because of remarkable characteristics such as a large surface area to volume ratio and high porosity. Nanofibers have been extensively used for different biomedical applications including wound dressing, tissue engineering, and drug delivery. Among their fabrication methods, the introduction of electrospinning technique was an important step toward achieving the goal of large scale industrial production of nanofiber-based drug delivery systems used in mucosal applications. This chapter provides an overview on all aspects of mucosal drug and vaccine delivery using nanofibers.
Part of the book: Nanomaterials