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Chitosan in Mucoadhesive Drug Delivery: Focus on Local Vaginal Therapy

Drug Transport and Delivery Research Group, Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Tromsø The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø 9037, Norway
PharmaLuxLab Research Group, School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Oslo, 0316 Oslo, Norway
Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience, Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Umeå University, Umeå SE-90187, Sweden
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: David Harding and Hitoshi Sashiwa
Mar. Drugs 2015, 13(1), 222-236;
Received: 30 October 2014 / Accepted: 25 December 2014 / Published: 7 January 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Marine Chitin and Chitosan)
PDF [393 KB, uploaded 24 February 2015]


Mucoadhesive drug therapy destined for localized drug treatment is gaining increasing importance in today’s drug development. Chitosan, due to its known biodegradability, bioadhesiveness and excellent safety profile offers means to improve mucosal drug therapy. We have used chitosan as mucoadhesive polymer to develop liposomes able to ensure prolonged residence time at vaginal site. Two types of mucoadhesive liposomes, namely the chitosan-coated liposomes and chitosan-containing liposomes, where chitosan is both embedded and surface-available, were made of soy phosphatidylcholine with entrapped fluorescence markers of two molecular weights, FITC-dextran 4000 and 20,000, respectively. Both liposomal types were characterized for their size distribution, zeta potential, entrapment efficiency and the in vitro release profile, and compared to plain liposomes. The proof of chitosan being both surface-available as well as embedded into the liposomes in the chitosan-containing liposomes was found. The capability of the surface-available chitosan to interact with the model porcine mucin was confirmed for both chitosan-containing and chitosan-coated liposomes implying potential mucoadhesive behavior. Chitosan-containing liposomes were shown to be superior in respect to the simplicity of preparation, FITC-dextran load, mucoadhesiveness and in vitro release and are expected to ensure prolonged residence time on the vaginal mucosa providing localized sustained release of entrapped model substances. View Full-Text
Keywords: chitosan; drug delivery; mucoadhesion; vaginal therapy; FITC-dextran chitosan; drug delivery; mucoadhesion; vaginal therapy; FITC-dextran

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Andersen, T.; Bleher, S.; Eide Flaten, G.; Tho, I.; Mattsson, S.; Škalko-Basnet, N. Chitosan in Mucoadhesive Drug Delivery: Focus on Local Vaginal Therapy. Mar. Drugs 2015, 13, 222-236.

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