Prof. Dr. Christel Bergström

Dr Bergström is Professor in Molecular Pharmaceutics at Uppsala University, Sweden, and adjunct Professor at Monash University, Australia. She is heading a research group of ~20 people focusing on delivery of problematic compounds (poorly solubles, biologics). Her expertise area is within advanced drug delivery systems with focus on biorelevant profiling, computational prediction and novel manufacturing techniques. She is the Center Director of The Swedish Drug Delivery Center – an academic-industry partnership with 16 industrial partners from Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Belgium.

Dr Bergström has attracted funding to her research program from highly competitive sources, including the European Research Council, the Swedish Research Council, the National Institute of Health and the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research. She has published >100 papers and book chapters and have been cited >5300 times (h-index of 38).

Dr Bergström is a cofounder of the Nordic Pharma Network and an EXCO member of the Nordic University Hub within patient-oriented products (the Nordic POP initiative). She is also an EXCO member of the Globalization Pharmaceutics Education Network. She has founded two companies supporting companies in the drug delivery and development area. In 2017, she was elected Deputy Dean of collaboration (Medicine and Pharmacy) at Uppsala University. In this role, she is engaged in outreach activities, identification and establishment of strategic partnerships, interactions with governmental departments of importance for health and education, as well as increasing the academic awareness of the innovation system. In 2018, she became associate editor for the journal Molecular Pharmaceutics.

Abstract

Physiological properties, composition and structural profiling of gastrointestinal mucus in preclinical species  

Christel A. S. Bergström, The Swedish Drug Delivery Center, Department of Pharmacy, Uppsala University, Sweden. 

The gastrointestinal mucus is a hydrogel that lines the luminal side of the gastrointestinal epithelium, offering barrier protection from pathogens and lubrication of the intraluminal contents. The barrier properties of the gastrointestinal mucus apply also to drug molecules that need to penetrate through the mucus in order to reach the epithelium and eventually get absorbed. In order to assess the impact of the gastrointestinal mucus on drug absorption, it is essential to obtain fundamental information about its nature. Such information nowadays mainly derives from studies in rodents with data from larger preclinical animals commonly employed during drug development being scarce.

Here I will report on recent investigations performed in our laboratory to delineate physiological properties (physical appearance, pH and water content), the composition (protein, lipid and metabolite content) and the structural profiling (rheology and gel network) of mucus from the complete gastrointestinal tract of pigs and dogs. The reported data and the information gained from these studies are expected to contribute to the assessment of relevance of these preclinical species as human substitutes for studies of amongst others dosage forms targeting absorption from colon.