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Chitosan Based Self-Assembled Nanoparticles in Drug Delivery

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      Chitosan is a cationic polysaccharide that is usually obtained by alkaline deacetylation of chitin poly( N-acetylglucosamine). It is biocompatible, biodegradable, mucoadhesive, and non-toxic. These excellent biological properties make chitosan a good candidate for a platform in developing drug delivery systems having improved biodistribution, increased specificity and sensitivity, and reduced pharmacological toxicity. In particular, chitosan nanoparticles are found to be appropriate for non-invasive routes of drug administration: oral, nasal, pulmonary and ocular routes. These applications are facilitated by the absorption-enhancing effect of chitosan. Many procedures for obtaining chitosan nanoparticles have been proposed. Particularly, the introduction of hydrophobic moieties into chitosan molecules by grafting to generate a hydrophobic-hydrophilic balance promoting self-assembly is a current and appealing approach. The grafting agent can be a hydrophobic moiety forming micelles that can entrap lipophilic drugs or it can be the drug itself. Another suitable way to generate self-assembled chitosan nanoparticles is through the formation of polyelectrolyte complexes with polyanions. This paper reviews the main approaches for preparing chitosan nanoparticles by self-assembly through both procedures, and illustrates the state of the art of their application in drug delivery.

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      Most cited references 189

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           A Domb,  H Sashiwa,  A. Kumar (2004)

            Author and article information

            [1 ]Institute of Polymer Chemistry, Johannes Kepler University, Altenberger Strasse 69, 4040 Linz, Austria; javenator@
            [2 ]Centro de Biomateriales, Universidad de La Habana, Ave. Universidad S/N entre G y Ronda, 10400 La Habana, Cuba; hazel@
            [3 ]Facultad de Química, Universidad de La Habana, Zapata S/N entre G y Carlitos Aguirre, 10400 La Habana, Cuba
            Author notes
            [* ]Correspondence: peniche@ Tel.: +53-7870-0594
            Polymers (Basel)
            Polymers (Basel)
            26 February 2018
            March 2018
            : 10
            : 3
            6414940 10.3390/polym10030235 polymers-10-00235
            © 2018 by the authors.

            Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (



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