In vitro cytotoxicity testing of chitosan-containing polyelectrolyte complexes

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Abstract

Two chitosan-containing polyelectrolyte complexes, chitosan-poly(acrylic acid) and chitosan-poly(styrenesulphonate), were synthesized by polymerizing acrylic acid and sodium styrenesulphonate in the presence of chitosan and chitosan hydrochloride, respectively. The complexes were studied by optical microscopy and tested for cytotoxicity by the Neutral Red uptake, Kenacid Blue R-Binding and 3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide assays. The optical microscopy confirmed the differences in crystallinity and structure already found for the two polycomplexes by other characterization techniques. The cytoxicity tests showed different influences on the cell activity by the extracts of the two polyelectrolyte complexes. Such results were discussed and correlated to the different structures of the two materials. © 1998 Chapman & Hall