Buccal Films: A Review of Therapeutic Opportunities, Formulation & Relevant Evaluation approaches

Lewis Shipp, Fang Liu, Laxmi Kerai-Varsani, Tochukwu Okwuosa

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The potential of the mucoadhesive film technology is hard to ignore, owing to perceived superior patient acceptability versus buccal tablets, and significant therapeutic opportunities compared to conventional oral drug delivery systems, especially for those who suffer from dysphagia. In spite of this, current translation from published literature into the commercial marketplace is virtually non-existent, with no authorised mucoadhesive buccal films available in the UK and very few available in the USA. This review seeks to provide an overview of the mucoadhesive buccal film technology and identify key areas upon which to focus scientific efforts to facilitate the wider adoption of this patient-centric dosage form. Several indications and opportunities for development were identified, while discussing the patient-related factors influencing the use of these dosage forms. In addition, an overview of the technologies behind the manufacturing of these films was provided, highlighting manufacturing methods like solvent casting, hot melt extrusion, inkjet printing and three-dimensional printing. Over thirty mucoadhesive polymers were identified as being used in film formulations, with details surrounding their mucoadhesive capabilities as well as their inclusion alongside other key formulation constituents provided. Lastly, the importance of physiologically relevant in vitro evaluation methodologies was emphasised, which seek to improve in vivo correlations. Potentially leading to better translation of mucoadhesive buccal films from the literature into the commercial marketplace.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 28 Oct 2022


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