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The Role Of Chitosan In Drug Delivery
A. Fini, I. Orienti
Published 2003 · Medicine
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Chitosan, obtained by deacetylation of chitin, is a natural, hydrophilic, nontoxic, biocompatible, and biodegradable polysaccharide suitable for applications in pharmaceutical technology. Its role in drug delivery systems was examined by considering the chemical and biologic properties of the polymer.Chitosan is a nonbranched homopolymer formed by β-(1,4)-linked glucosamine units; hydroxyls and the amino groups are substrates for chemical modifications aimed at obtaining suitable materials for different purposes.Chitosan is soluble at acidic pH, forming gels; hydrogels are also formed in the presence of negatively charged drugs or polyanions, and represent a sustained drug release form. The bioadhesive nature of chitosan can be attributed to the same type of ionic interactions with mucosal membrane components. Mucoadhesive formulations have been developed for ocular, nasal, buccal, gastrointestinal, and vaginal drug administration. Chitosan is able to promote transmucosal absorption of small polar drugs, including peptides, inducing a transient opening of the tight junctions of the cell membrane.Due to its polymeric nature, chitosan has been widely investigated for a variety of microparticulate pharmaceutical forms. Chitosan is also a candidate for potential applications in the delivery of radiopharmaceuticals, genes and peptides.
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