Modelling and simulation of the drug release from a solid dosage form in the human ascending colon: the influence of different motility patterns and fluid viscosities

Michael Schütt, Konstantinos Stamatopoulos, Hannah K. Batchelor, Mark J. H. Simmons, Alessio Alexiadis

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For colonic drug delivery, the ascending part of the colon is the most favourable site as it offers the most suitable environmental conditions for drug dissolution. Commonly, the performance of a drug formulation is assessed using standardised dissolution apparatus, which does not replicate the hydrodynamics and shear stress evoked by wall motion in the colon. In this work, computer simulations are used to analyse and understand the influence of different biorelevant motility patterns on the disintegration/drug release of a solid dosage form (tablet) under different fluid conditions (viscosities) to mimic the ascending colonic environment. Furthermore, the ability of the motility pattern to distribute the drug in the ascending colon luminal environment is analysed to provide data for a spatiotemporal concentration profile. The motility patterns used are derived from in vivo data representing different motility patterns in the human ascending colon. The applied motility patterns show considerable differences in the drug release rate from the tablet, as well as in the ability to distribute the drug along the colon. The drug dissolution/disintegration process from a solid dosage form is primarily influenced by the hydrodynamic and shear stress it experiences, i.e., a combination of motility pattern and fluid viscosity. Reduced fluid motion leads to a more pronounced influence of diffusion in the tablet dissolution process. The motility pattern that provoked frequent single shear stress peaks seemed to be more effective in achieving a higher drug release rate. The ability to simulate drug release profiles under biorelevant colonic environmental conditions provides valuable feedback to better understand the drug formulation and how this can be optimised to ensure that the drug is present in the desired concentration within the ascending colon
Original languageEnglish
Article number859
Number of pages26
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), grant number EP/S019227/1.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • mathematical modelling
  • smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH)
  • fluid dynamics
  • large intestine
  • colon
  • fluid–structure interactions
  • colonic drug delivery
  • tablet disintegration
  • drug release profile
  • spatiotemporal concentration profile


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