The objective of this study was to investigate the potential of chitosan salts as a carrier in the preparation of protein-loaded nanoparticles. Glutamic and aspartic acids were used to prepare chitosan salts of 35, 100, and 800 KDa. Nanoparticles of chitosan base, chitosan glutamate, and chitosan aspartate were produced by ionotropic gelation with sodium tripolyphosphate (TPP). Bovine serum albumin (BSA) was applied as a model protein at loading concentrations ranging from 0.2 to 2 mg/mL. The size of the nanoparticles, as measured by photon correlation spectroscopy, was in the range of 195 to 3450 nm, depending on type and molecular weight of chitosan. Nanoparticles prepared with higher molecular weight chitosan showed larger sizes. The encapsulation was controlled by the competition of BSA in forming ionic cross-linking with chitosan and by the entrapment of BSA during the gelation process. Higher BSA encapsulation efficiency (EE) was obtained for nanoparticles prepared with chitosan salts compared to those prepared with the base. The higher EE was a result of a higher degree of ionization, causing more active sites to interact with BSA. In addition, a higher and faster release of BSA from the nanoparticles into pH 7.4 buffer medium was observed for nanoparticles of the chitosan salts than was observed for nanoparticles of the chitosan base. The higher and faster release was attributed to higher EE and lower entrapment of BSA within the matrix of the nanoparticle during the gelation process. The influence of molecular weight on the property of nanoparticles exhibited different effects. The difference was a result of different organic acids used to prepare nanoparticles leading to the difference in polymer conformation and viscosity of organic acid solution. Therefore, this study showed that the characteristics of chitosan nanoparticles loaded with a protein drug could be readily modulated by changing the salt form or the molecular weight of the chitosan carrier.
Luangtana-Anan, M., Opanasopit, P., Ngawhirunpat, T., Nunthanid, J., Sriamornsak, P., Limmatvapirat, S., & Lim, L. Y. (2005). Effect of Chitosan Salts and Molecular Weight on a Nanoparticulate Carrier for Therapeutic Protein. Pharmaceutical Development and Technology, 10(2), 189-196. https://doi.org/10.1081/PDT-200054388