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Ionically cross-linked chitosan–halloysite composite microparticles for sustained drug release

  • Bojan Čalija (a1), Jela Milić (a1), Jelena Janićijević (a1), Aleksandra Daković (a2) and Danina Krajišnik (a1)...


This study investigated the potential of halloysite nanotubes (HNTs) to improve the sustained release properties of chitosan (CS) microparticles cross-linked ionically with tripolyphosphate (TPP). Composite CS-HNTs microparticles were obtained by a simple and eco-friendly procedure based on a coaxial extrusion technique. Prior to encapsulation, a water-soluble model drug, verapamil hydrochloride (VH), was adsorbed successfully on HNTs. The microparticles were characterized by optical microscopy, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, differential thermal analysis/ thermogravimetric analysis (DTA/TG) and evaluated for encapsulation efficiency and drug-release properties. The composite particles had a slightly deformed spherical shape and micrometric size with average perimeters ranging from 485.4 ± 13.3 to 492.4 ± 11.9 μm. The results of FTIR spectroscopy confirmed non-covalent interactions between CS and HNTs within composite particle structures. The DTA and TG studies revealed increased thermal stability of the composite particles in comparison to the CS-TPP particles. Drug adsorption on HNTs prior to encapsulation led to an increase in encapsulation efficiency from 19.6 ± 2.9 to 84.3 ± 1.9%. In contrast to the rapid release of encapsulated model drug from CS-TPP microparticles, the composite CS-HNTs microparticles released drug in a sustained manner, showing the best fit to the Bhaskar model. The results presented here imply that HNTs could be used to improve morphology, encapsulation efficiency and sustained drug-release properties of CS microparticles cross-linked ionically with TPP.


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