, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 1309-1318
Date: 28 Sep 2012

Comparative Studies on Chitosan and Polylactic-co-glycolic Acid Incorporated Nanoparticles of Low Molecular Weight Heparin


This study was performed to test the feasibility of chitosan and polylactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) incorporated nanoparticles as sustained-release carriers for the delivery of negatively charged low molecular weight heparin (LMWH). Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometry was used to evaluate the interactions between chitosan and LMWH. The shifts, intensity, and broadening of the characteristic peaks for the functional groups in the FTIR spectra indicated that strong interactions occur between the positively charged chitosans and the negatively charged LMWHs. Three types of LMWH nanoparticles (NP-1, NP-2, and NP-3) were prepared using chitosan with or without PLGA: NP-1 nanoparticles were formed by polyelectrolyte complexation after single mixing, NP-2 nanoparticles were prepared by polyelectrolyte complexation after single emulsion–diffusion–evaporation, and NP-3 nanoparticles were optimized by double emulsion–diffusion–evaporation. NP-3 nanoparticles of LMWH prepared by the emulsion–diffusion–evaporation method showed significant differences in particle morphology, size, zeta potential, and drug release profile compared to NP-1 nanoparticles formed by polyelectrolyte complexation. Another ionic complex of LMWH with chitosan-incorporated PLGA nanoparticles (NP-2) showed lower drug entrapment efficiency than that of NP-1 and NP-3. The drug release rate of NP-3 was slower than the release rates of NP-1 and NP-2, although particle morphology of NP-3 was similar to that of NP-2. Cell viability was not adversely affected when cells were treated with all three types of nanoparticles. The data presented in this study demonstrate that nanoparticles formulated with chitosan–PLGA could be a safe sustained-release carrier for the delivery of LMWH.