Pectin is a polysaccharide with very good gel forming properties that traditionally has found important applications in foods and pharmaceutical industries. Although less studied, chemical modifications of pectin leading to a decrease in its hydrophilicity can be useful for the development of novel drug carriers. To this aim, butylglyceryl pectins (P-OX4) were synthesized via functionalization with n
-butylglycidyl ether and subsequently formed into nanoparticles. Chromatographic, spectroscopic, and thermal analytical methods were employed to characterize the novel butylglyceryl pectins (P-OX4) obtained, prior to their formulation into nanoparticles via nanoprecipitation. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy confirmed a degree of modification in these materials in the range 10.4–13.6%, and thermal stability studies indicated an increase in both the thermal decomposition onset and glass transition temperature values (compared to those of the original pectin). An increase in the molecular weight and a decrease in the viscosity of P-OX4, when compared to the starting material, were also observed. The resulting nanoformulations were investigated in terms of particle morphology, size and stability, and it was found that particles were roughly spherical, with their size below 300 nm, and a negative zeta potential (−20 to −26 mV, indicating good stability). Having demonstrated the ability to load Doxorubicin at the level of 10%, their potential in drug delivery applications warrants further investigations.
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