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A New Lipid Emulsion Formulation With High Antimicrobial Efficacy Using Chitosan.

M. Jumaa, F. Furkert, B. Mueller
Published 2002 · Medicine, Chemistry

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The antimicrobial activity of chitosan in lipid emulsions as well as in aqueous solutions was investigated. Two types of long-chained chitosan were used differing in the molecular weights, degree of the deacetylation and their viscosity: type I, mol. weight 8.7 x 10(4) g/mol, 92% degree of deacetylation and a viscosity of 14 mPa s, type II, mol. weight of 5.32 x 10(5) g/mol, 73% degree of deacetylation and a viscosity of 461 mPa s. In order to assess the pH optimum of the antimicrobial activity of the biopolymer, suspensions of the microorganisms Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Candida albicans and Aspergillus niger were incubated at different pH-values in lactic acid solution (1% w/v) containing different concentrations of chitosan up to 1.5% (w/v). Emulsion formulations containing either 0.25%, 0.5% or no chitosan, respectively, were inoculated with the same microorganisms and were incubated at 25 degrees C. The aqueous solutions as well as the emulsions were examined for microbial counts on agar plates after different periods of incubation. After 24 h of incubation in aqueous solutions only the cfu numbers of the bacteria were reduced. Both types of chitosan revealed a pH optimum of their antibacterial activity at pH 5.0-5.1 for P. aeruginosa, and at pH 5.3 for S. aureus. In addition, chitosan with a mol. weight of 8.7 x 10(4) g/mol, high degree of deacetylation and low viscosity showed a higher antimicrobial activity than the other chitosan type of this study. It was found that lipid emulsions containing 0.5% chitosan (type I) conformed to the requirements of the preservation efficacy test for topical formulations according to the European Pharmacopoeia while the emulsion without chitosan and a lactic acid solution with and without the biopolymer did not conform. In hemolysis studies on human erythrocytes, the hemolytic activity of the lipid emulsions with chitosan was assessed. These emulsions showed a negligible hemolytic behavior. The results indicate a use of chitosan as antimicrobial preservative in emulsion formulations for mucosal as well for parenteral applications.
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