Background: The production of protein drugs has recently increased due to advances in biotechnology, but their clinical use is generally limited to parenteral administration due to low absorption in non-parenteral administration. Therefore, non-parenteral delivery systems allowing sufficient absorption draw much attention. Methods: Microparticles (MP) were prepared using chitosan-4-thio-butylamidine conjugate (Ch-TBA), trimethyl-chitosan (TMC), and chitosan (Ch). Using salmon calcitonin (sCT) as a model protein drug, Ch-TBA-, Ch-TBA/TMC (4/1)-, and Ch-based MP were produced, and their Eudragit L100 (Eud)-coated MP, named Ch-TBA-MP/Eud, Ch-TBA/TMC-MP/Eud, and Ch-MP/Eud, respectively, were prepared as oral delivery systems. These enteric-coated microparticles were examined in vitro and in vivo. Results: All microparticles before and after enteric coating had a submicron size (600–800 nm) and micrometer size (1300–1500 nm), respectively. In vitro release patterns were similar among all microparticles; release occurred gradually, and the release rate was slower at pH 1.2 than at pH 6.8. In oral ingestion, Ch-TBA-MP/Eud suppressed plasma Ca levels most effectively among the microparticles tested. The relative effectiveness of Ch-TBA-MP/Eud to the intramuscular injection was 8.6%, while the sCT solution showed no effectiveness. Conclusion: The results suggest that Eud-coated Ch-TBA-based microparticles should have potential as an oral delivery system of protein drugs.
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