Over the past few years, nasal drug delivery has attracted more and more attentions, and been recognized as the most promising alternative route for the systemic medication of drugs limited to intravenous administration. Many experiments in animal models have shown that nanoscale carriers have the ability to enhance the nasal delivery of peptide/protein drugs and vaccines compared to the conventional drug solution formulations.
However, the rapid mucociliary clearance of the drug-loaded nanoparticles can cause a reduction in bioavailability percentage after intranasal administration. Thus, research efforts have considerably been directed towards the development of hydrogel nanosystems which have mucoadhesive properties in order to maximize the residence time, and hence increase the period of contact with the nasal mucosa and enhance the drug absorption.
It is most certain that the high viscosity of hydrogel-based nanosystems can efficiently offer this mucoadhesive property. This update review discusses the possible benefits of using hydrogel polymer-based nanoparticles and hydrogel nanocomposites for drug/vaccine delivery through the intranasal administration.