In the past attention has been focused on reproducible smooth and rapid oesophageal transit. In some instances, for example in the treatment of oesophageal damage from gastrooesophageal reflux or oesophageal cancer, delivery of drugs to the oesophageal mucosa would be desirable. In 1990, the use of ultrafine ferrite (?-Fe2O3), utilising a dye and polymer as an adhesion/release controlling delivery system was reported for the delivery of drugs to treat oesophageal cancer39. More recently, poly (oxyethylene-b-oxypropylene-b-oxyethylene)-g-poly (acrylic acid) which is composed of polyacrylic acid and a block co-polymer of ethylene oxide and propylene oxide has been explored for this use. The material shows strong mucoadhesive properties and undergoes reverse thermal gelation at body temperature40. Approximately ten percent of the formulation was observed to remain in the oesophagus 10 minutes after administration (Figure 4.9).
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