Despite being the preferred route of drug administration, the oral formulation of biological drugs is limited due to its intrinsic instability, low permeability, and physical, chemical and immunological barriers. Various innovative swallowable technologies such as drug-loaded, dissolvable microneedles, mucoadhesive patches, and various microdevices present unique drug-carrying capabilities. The current work presents a novel soft stent platform that can facilitate contact between the small intestine tissue and drug carriers to enhance drug absorption and increase residence time. This study aims to prove the concept of this novel platform and determine if the soft stent will retain orally to the ileocecal valve longer than a capsule-shaped bolus. Benchtop studies on an intestinal simulator showed successful retention of the soft stent compared to a control capsule. In vivo studies in pig models also showed that the soft stent was retained longer than the control capsule. Overall, this study shows promise that this novel platform could be used for oral drug delivery of biologics.

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