Chitosan Nanoparticles: Preparation, Characterization, and Applications



Chitosan, a polysaccharide obtained by partial deacetylation of chitin from the shells of crustaceans, is one of the most often studied natural biopolymers, having the potential for numerous industrial applications. The development of micro- and nanoparticles of chitosan and its derivatives paved a path for applying these biomolecules in a more effective and economical manner, and expanding their applications in more diverse fields than those expected. Similar to all the other types of nanoparticles developed from different materials, chitosan nanoparticles also possess their own physical, chemical, and morphological characteristics that finally determine their applications. The methods of preparation of chitosan nanoparticles are significantly responsible for their bioactivities and behavioral characteristics in different systems and applications. The main methods of preparation of chitosan nanoparticles include emulsion cross-linking, emulsion-droplet coalescence, coacervation/precipitation, ionotropic gelation, reverse micelles, template polymerization, and molecular self-assembly. All these methods have their own advantages as well as drawbacks, in relation to the properties of the nanoparticles. However, careful preparation of chitosan nanoparticles could provide a higher affinity for negatively charged biological membranes and site-specific targeting in vivo, enabling their application as encapsulating materials of drugs, enzymes, and DNA, used in controlled release systems and as coatings of wound dressings to accelerate healing. Chitosan nanoparticles-based films are used in the food industry to control microorganisms in food and to enhance shelf life while strengthening the mechanical properties and stability of the food-packing materials. Although the chitosan nanoparticles appear to be safe in some of their applications, knowledge on the risks imposed in these food and pharmaceutical applications needs to be strengthened further.


Zeta Potential Reverse Micelle Chitosan Solution Water Vapor Permeability Chitosan Nanoparticles 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Food Science & TechnologyUniversity of PeradeniyaPeradeniyaSri Lanka

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