From Static to Dynamic: A Review on the Role of Mucus Heterogeneity in Particle and Microbial Transport

Dipesh Dinanath Pednekar, Madison A. Liguori, Claudia N.H. Marques, Teng Zhang, Nan Zhang, Zejian Zhou, Kagya Amoako, Huan Gu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Mucus layers (McLs) are on the front line of the human defense system that protect us from foreign abiotic/biotic particles (e.g., airborne virus SARS-CoV-2) and lubricates our organs. Recently, the impact of McLs on human health (e.g., nutrient absorption and drug delivery) and diseases (e.g., infections and cancers) has been studied extensively, yet their mechanisms are still not fully understood due to their high variety among organs and individuals. We characterize these variances as the heterogeneity of McLs, which lies in the thickness, composition, and physiology, making the systematic research on the roles of McLs in human health and diseases very challenging. To advance mucosal organoids and develop effective drug delivery systems, a comprehensive understanding of McLs' heterogeneity and how it impacts mucus physiology is urgently needed. When the role of airway mucus in the penetration and transmission of coronavirus (CoV) is considered, this understanding may also enable a better explanation and prediction of the CoV's behavior. Hence, in this Review, we summarize the variances of McLs among organs, health conditions, and experimental settings as well as recent advances in experimental measurements, data analysis, and model development for simulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2825-2848
Number of pages24
JournalACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 11 2022


  • data analysis
  • dynamic vs static
  • heterogeneity
  • microscopic viscoelasticity
  • mucus layers
  • native vs reconstituted mucus layers
  • particle transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'From Static to Dynamic: A Review on the Role of Mucus Heterogeneity in Particle and Microbial Transport'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this