PMID: 7888601Nov 1, 1994Paper

Effect of 'unstirred' water layer in the intestine on the rate and extent of absorption after oral administration

Biopharmaceutics & Drug Disposition
W L Chiou


The presence of an aqueous diffusion layer or 'unstirred' water layer adjacent to the intestinal membrane has long been regarded as a potential barrier for intestinal absorption of compounds. Theoretical analyses were performed in the present study to quantitatively determine the effect of this layer on the rate and extent of absorption of passively absorbed compounds with different membrane absorption half-lives (10 to 300 min) in humans, dogs, rabbits, rats and mice. Diffusion half-lives across this (40 microns thick) layer were estimated to be 5.8, 2.5, 1.1, 0.65 and 0.32 min, respectively, in the distended intestine of the above five species. These half-lives are reduced by about 5-fold when the intestine is about 80% 'flat' in fasting state. The results of extensive analysis indicate that the presence of such a layer is generally expected to have a relatively mild or insignificant effect on the rate of absorption and an insignificant effect on the extent of absorption. The study also indicates that an aqueous layer of 708 microns has practically no effect on the extent of absorption of progesterone, a highly lipophilic compound, in rats. For prediction of or correlation with the fraction of oral dose absorbed after oral ad...Continue Reading


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