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Study: Posture affects how your stomach absorbs this

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By Stephen Beech via SWNS

Posture affects how the stomach absorbs drugs taken orally, suggests a new study.

Researchers used a state-of-the-art "StomachSim" - based on the realistic anatomy of the human stomach – to analyze and quantify how effective swallowed medicines are.

Scientists say that swallowing tablets is the most complex way for the human body to absorb an active pharmaceutical ingredient because the bioavailability of the drug in the gastrointestinal tract depends on the medication's ingredients and the stomach's dynamic physiological environment.

American scientists used a biomimetic in-silico simulator based on the realistic anatomy and morphology of the stomach – dubbed a "StomachSim" – for the study.

They said the modeling is believed to be the first of its kind to couple gastric biomechanics with pill movement and drug dissolution to quantify an active pharmaceutical ingredient passing through the pylorus into the duodenum.

It enabled the researchers to calculate and compare the emptying rate and the release of a dissolved active pharmaceutical ingredient into the duodenum for a variety of physiological situations.

Study co-author Professor Rajat Mittal, of Johns Hopkins University, said: "Oral administration is surprisingly complex despite being the most common choice for drug administration.

"When the pill reaches the stomach, the motion of the stomach walls and the flow of contents inside determine the rate at which it dissolves. The properties of the pill and the stomach contents also play a major role.

"However, current experimental or clinical procedures for assessing the dissolution of oral drugs are limited in their ability to study this, which makes it a challenge to understand how the dissolution is affected in different stomach disorders, such as gastroparesis, which slows down the emptying of the stomach."

He said the stomach's contents and gastric fluid dynamics are among factors that play a role in a drug's bioavailability, and stomach contractions can induce pressure and generate complex pill trajectories.

Mittal said: "This results in varying rates of pill dissolution and non-uniform emptying of the drug into the duodenum and, sometimes, gastric dumping in the case of modified-release dosage.

"Together, these issues pose several challenges for the design of drug delivery."

Mittal added: "In this work, we demonstrate a novel computer simulation platform that offers the potential for overcoming these limitations.

"Our models can generate biorelevant data on drug dissolution that can provide useful and unique insights into the complex physiological processes behind the oral administration of pills."

The findings were published in the journal Physics of Fluids.

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