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Binary Solutions Of Hyaluronan And Lactose-Modified Chitosan: The Influence Of Experimental Variables In Assembling Complex Coacervates

Federica Vecchies, Pasquale Sacco, Eleonora Marsich, Giuseppe Cinelli, Francesco Lopez, Ivan Donati

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A miscibility study between oppositely charged polyelectrolytes, namely hyaluronic acid and a lactose-modified chitosan, is here reported. Experimental variables such as polymers’ weight ratios, pH values, ionic strengths and hyaluronic acid molecular weights were considered. Transmittance analyses demonstrated the mutual solubility of the two biopolymers at a neutral pH. The onset of the liquid-liquid phase separation due to electrostatic interactions between the two polymers was detected at pH 4.5, and it was found to be affected by the overall ionic strength, the modality of mixing and the polymers’ weight ratio. Thorough Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) measurements were performed to check the quality of the formed coacervates by investigating their dimensions, homogeneity and surface charge. The whole DLS results highlighted the influence of the hyaluronic acid molecular weight in affecting coacervates’ dispersity and size.