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Does Body Posture Really Affect How Our Stomach Absorbs Pills?

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Jiya Saini
Jiya Saini is a Journalist and Writer at Revyuh.com. She has been working with us since January 2018. After studying at Jamia Millia University, she is fascinated by smart lifestyle and smart living. She covers technology, games, sports and smart living, as well as good experience in press relations. She is also a freelance trainer for macOS and iOS, and In the past, she has worked with various online news magazines in India and Singapore. Email: jiya (at) revyuh (dot) com

Taking a pill or capsule by mouth is a common, cheap, and easy way to give a drug.

But taking a drug by mouth is the most complicated way for the body to absorb an active pharmaceutical ingredient. This is because the bioavailability of the drug in the gastrointestinal tract depends on what the drug is made of and how the stomach works.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine use a biomimetic in-silico simulator based on the realistic anatomy and morphology of the stomach – dubbed “StomachSim” – to probe and determine the effect of body posture and stomach motility on drug bioavailability in Physics of Fluids, published by AIP Publishing.

“Oral administration is surprisingly complex despite being the most common choice for drug administration,” adds co-author Rajat Mittal.

“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.” 

Stomach contents, motility, and gastric fluid dynamics all influence drug bioavailability, and stomach contractions can cause pressure and convoluted pill trajectories.

This causes varied rates of pill disintegration, nonuniform drug emptying into the duodenum, and, in the case of modified-release dose, gastric dumping.

These factors, taken together, represent a number of challenges for drug delivery design.

“In this work,” as explained by the author, they showed “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 modeling appears to be the first of its type to quantify an active pharmaceutical ingredient traveling from the pylorus into the duodenum by combining gastric biomechanics with pill movement and drug dissolution.

The model allowed the researchers to compute and compare the release of an active medicinal ingredient that was dissolved into the duodenum at various physiological conditions.

Image Credit: Getty

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