The role of surfactant in, and a comparison of, the permeability of porcine and human epithelia to various chemical compounds
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In this thesis, research results are reported on the role of natural and synthetic surfactants on the in vitro permeability characteristics of various chemical compounds across porcine (buccal, bronchial, arterial, venous and rectal) and human (vaginal) tissues. The permeability flux values of the different compounds (arecoline, 17β-estradiol, hydrocortisone, dexamethasone, vasopressin, oxytocin, zidovudine and isoniazid) were determined using a continuous flow-through diffusion system. Mean steady state flux values were compared statistically by means of a t-test at a significance level of 5% as well as an F-test using whole curve comparisons. The results indicated that the synthetic pulmonary surfactant Biopolsurf is an effective enhancer for the permeation of chemical compounds through most of the tissues tested and that molecular weight, electrostatic charge, partitioning of the molecules in surfactant and surfactant concentration play an important role in trans membrane diffusion. In addition the epithelial permeability of the different types of tissues for various chemical compounds (arecoline, 17β-estradiol, hydrocortisone, dexamethasone, vasopressin and oxytocin) across the above tissues were compared. The results obtained showed that the permeability flux values of the compounds across porcine bronchial and human vaginal tissues were consistently similar and that porcine buccal tissue had the lowest permeability of all tissues tested. This was in agreement with previous in vitro studies. It was concluded that a wide variation in the permeability characteristics of different epithelia exists and that the pulmonary epithelium, due to its high permeability, is probably the most effective epithelium for drug delivery purposes, especially for drugs that undergo extensive gastrointestinal or hepatic first-pass metabolism.