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Polymers 2018, 10(3), 252; doi:10.3390/polym10030252

Starch-Chitosan Polyplexes: A Versatile Carrier System for Anti-Infectives and Gene Delivery

Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS), Helmholtz Center for Infection Research (HZI), Saarland University, D-66123 Saarbrücken, Germany
Department of Pharmacy, Saarland University, D-66123 Saarbrücken, Germany
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 December 2017 / Revised: 25 February 2018 / Accepted: 27 February 2018 / Published: 1 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers from Renewable Resources)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [8271 KB, uploaded 1 March 2018]   |  


Despite the enormous potential of nanomedicine, the search for materials from renewable resources that balance bio-medical requirements and engineering aspects is still challenging. This study proposes an easy method to make nanoparticles composed of oxidized starch and chitosan, both isolated from natural biopolymers. The careful adjustment of C/N ratio, polymer concentration and molecular weight allowed for tuning of particle characteristics. The system’s carrier capability was assessed both for anti-infectives and for nucleic acid. Higher starch content polyplexes were found to be suitable for high encapsulation efficiency of cationic anti-infectives and preserving their bactericidal function. A cationic carrier was obtained by coating the anionic polyplex with chitosan. Coating allowed for a minimal amount of cationic polymer to be employed and facilitated plasmid DNA loading both within the particle core and on the surface. Transfection studies showed encouraging result, approximately 5% of A549 cells with reporter gene expression. In summary, starch-chitosan complexes are suitable carriers with promising perspectives for pharmaceutical use. View Full-Text
Keywords: polymeric nanoparticles; renewable polysaccharides; anionic starch; cationic anti-infectives; transfection polymeric nanoparticles; renewable polysaccharides; anionic starch; cationic anti-infectives; transfection

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Yasar, H.; Ho, D.-K.; De Rossi, C.; Herrmann, J.; Gordon, S.; Loretz, B.; Lehr, C.-M. Starch-Chitosan Polyplexes: A Versatile Carrier System for Anti-Infectives and Gene Delivery. Polymers 2018, 10, 252.

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