Albendazole (ABZ) and praziquantel (PZQ) are two drugs with anthelminthic activity, but their low solubility in biological fluid and subsequently poor bioavailability after oral administration confine their clinical usage. The aim of this study was to prepare chitosan nanoparticles loaded with either ABZ or PZQ as new formulations for improvement of their bioavailability. In order to synthesis nanoparticles, the chitosan powders with different molecular weights were added to acetic acid solution containing Poloxamer 407. To optimize the method, a number of parameters were explored by changing one parameter while others were kept constant. Particle size, polydispersity index, ξ-potential, drug loading, and in vitro drug release were measured. The average sizes of chitosan nanoparticles loaded with ABZ and PZQ were 224.9 and 174.6, respectively. Drug-loading and entrapment efficiencies were measured to be 0.55 and 11% for ABZ, respectively, while these were 0.53 and 22% for PZQ, respectively. The results indicated that chitosan molecular weight, chitosan concentration, chitosan-to-sodium tripolyphosphate ratio, and solution pH values were all influential on the size of the nanoparticles. It seems that the current procedure is suitable for making chitosan nanoparticles containing PZQ, although not suitable enough for ABZ chitosan nanoparticles.
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This study is a part of the Ph.D. thesis (ZUMS.REC.1393.177) and was financially supported by Zanjan University of Medical Sciences. The authors wish to thank Mrs. Mina Mohammadi and Miss Zahra Karami for their technical assistance.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.
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