Biotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering 2021; 26(6): 1034-1042  
Enhanced Cellular Permeation Efficiency Through Mechanical Vibration-induced Actin Cytoskeleton Changes in Human Nasal Epithelial Cells
Myeongkwan Song and Soonjo Kwon
Myeongkwan Song, Soonjo Kwon*
Department of Biological Engineering, Inha University, Incheon 22212, Korea
Tel: +82-32-860-9176; Fax: +82-32-872-4046
Department of Biological Sciences and Bioengineering, Incheon 22212, Korea
Received: March 23, 2021; Revised: May 13, 2021; Accepted: May 13, 2021; Published online: December 31, 2021.
© The Korean Society for Biotechnology and Bioengineering. All rights reserved.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Drug delivery through the intranasal route has several advantages. The intranasal route provides higher bioavailability than oral administration, and it can bypass liver digestion of the drug, which is expected in the case of oral administration. However, there are some disadvantages in intranasal drug delivery: Drug residence time in the nasal cavity is short, and the permeation efficiency through the nasal epithelium is unsatisfactory. Several strategies to enhance intranasal permeation efficiency or increase retention time have been studied. Previous studies indicated that mechanical stresses could enhance paracellular permeability. In this study, we exposed human nasal epithelial cells to mechanical vibrations (0.6 × g, 38 Hz) to increase cellular permeability. There was no significant decrease in cell viability under all mechanical vibration conditions tested. Transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) decreased by approximately 35% and paracellular permeability of fluorescein sodium salt (MW 376Da; NaFI) increased by about 15% following exposure of human nasal epithelial cells to mechanical vibration (20 min, 0.6 × g). Gene expressions of tight junction and adherens junctions were not significantly changed. The ratio of G-actin to F-actin was analyzed to assess changes in the cytoskeletal structure under mechanical vibration. Following exposure of cells to mechanical vibration, the G-actin to F-actin cytoskeletal ratio increased 2.3-fold compared to the control cells.
Keywords: drug delivery, intranasal route, mechanical stimulation, enhance permeability, actin cytoskeleton

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