Intestinal mucus is a biological structure that acts as a barrier between the external environment and the epithelium. It actively selects nutrient and drug intake, regulates the symbiosis with the intestinal microbiota and keeps the epithelium protected from the attack of pathogens. All these functions are closely connected to the chemical and structural complexity of this biological material, on which its viscoelastic and diffusive properties depend. Many models have been proposed to replicate these characteristics using glycoproteins in solution and possibly the addition of other mucus components, such as lipids and other proteins. In the field of mucus modelling, an overall view of the mucus as a material, having its own viscous, rheological and diffusive characteristics, has been undersized with respect to a pure biological-functional analysis. In this review, we propose a description of the mucus as a biomaterial, including a presentation of its chemical and structural complexity, and of its main viscoelastic-diffusive properties, in order to provide a synthesis of the characteristics necessary for the engineering of more advanced mucus models.

Towards bioinspired in vitro models of intestinal mucus

Sardelli, Lorenzo;Pacheco, Daniela Peneda;ZICCARELLI, ANNA;Tunesi, Marta;Briatico Vangosa, Francesco;Giordano, Carmen;Petrini, Paola
2019

Abstract

Intestinal mucus is a biological structure that acts as a barrier between the external environment and the epithelium. It actively selects nutrient and drug intake, regulates the symbiosis with the intestinal microbiota and keeps the epithelium protected from the attack of pathogens. All these functions are closely connected to the chemical and structural complexity of this biological material, on which its viscoelastic and diffusive properties depend. Many models have been proposed to replicate these characteristics using glycoproteins in solution and possibly the addition of other mucus components, such as lipids and other proteins. In the field of mucus modelling, an overall view of the mucus as a material, having its own viscous, rheological and diffusive characteristics, has been undersized with respect to a pure biological-functional analysis. In this review, we propose a description of the mucus as a biomaterial, including a presentation of its chemical and structural complexity, and of its main viscoelastic-diffusive properties, in order to provide a synthesis of the characteristics necessary for the engineering of more advanced mucus models.
RSC ADVANCES
Rheology, diffusion, mucin, microbiota, gut
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1087372
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