Impact of regional differences along the gastrointestinal tract of healthy adults on oral drug absorption: an UNGAP review

Maria Vertzoni, Patrick Augustijns, Michael Grimm, Mirko Koziolek, Glenn Lemmens, Neil Parrott, Christina Pentafragka, Christos Reppas, Jari Rubbens, Jens Van Den Αbeele, Tim Vanuytsel, Werner Weitschies, Clive G. Wilson

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Oral administration is the most common route of drug delivery. The absorption of a drug from the gut into the bloodstream involves disintegration of the solid dosage form, dissolution of the active pharmaceutical ingredient and its transport across the gut wall. The efficiency of these processes is determined by highly complex and dynamic interplay between the gastrointestinal tract, the dosage form and the API. The European Network on Understanding Gastrointestinal Absorption-related Processes (UNGAP)aims to improve our understanding of intestinal drug absorption by creating a multidisciplinary Network of researchers from academia and industry engaging in scientific discussions. As part of the basis for the UNGAP project, this review aims to summarize the current knowledge on anatomy and physiology of the human gastrointestinal tract with emphasis on human studies for the evaluation of the regional drug absorption and the prediction of oral dosage form performance. A range of factors and methods will be considered, including imaging methods, intraluminal sampling and, models for predicting segmental/regional absorption. In addition, in vitro and in silico methods to evaluate regional drug absorption will be discussed. This will provide the basis for further work on improving predictions for the in vivo behavior of drug products in the gastrointestinal tract.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-175
Number of pages23
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Early online date13 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2019


  • fasted state
  • fed state
  • imaging techniques
  • luminal environment
  • oral drug absorption
  • unstirred water layer

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