Tests on volunteers have shown that MRI can be used to study the effectiveness of formulations while they are under development, the British Pharmaceutical Conference heard yesterday in Birmingham, UK.
The new test could be especially helpful in developing protective treatments for patients suffering from gastric reflux, researchers suggest.
Scientists at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK, said their work was the first to show that MRI could be used as an alternative to gamma scintigraphy - which involves the use of radioactive isotopes.
Six volunteers took part in the research, which proved that high viscosity formulations were easier to visualize than those of lower viscosity.
The researchers said MRI provides better anatomical detail than gamma scintigraphy - but does not give as much information about the amount of drug retained in the esophagus.
At the conference, research fellow Dr Bridget O'Mahony said: "Coating the esophagus with a material that is both mucoadhesive and resistant to acid damage may be useful in protecting the esophageal lining from gastric reflux. In addition, the coating could be used as a platform for delivering drugs to the esophagus. We explored the use of MRI as a tool to visualize the esophageal transit and retention of liquid and gel formulations."
Report Copyright: Englemed Health News at http://www.internationalmedicalnews.com