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Int J Pharm. 2003 Jul 24;260(2):167-73.

Chitosan-coated liposomes: characterization and interaction with leuprolide.

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  • 1Department of Pharmaceutics, China Pharmaceutical University, Nanjing 210009, China.


The objective of the present work was to investigate the effect of chitosan concentration and lipid type on the characteristics of chitosan-coated liposomes and their interactions with leuprolide. Liposomes from lipid of high purity and low purity were prepared and coated by chitosan. Physical properties, drug entrapment efficiency, and stability upon dilution were respectively compared. Results showed that the particle size increment of liposomes from low purity lipid was larger than that from high purity lipid, indicating a thicker coating layer. The high zeta potential of particles from low purity lipid was thought to play an important role in the resistance to flocculation. As to particles from high purity lipid, polymer bridging caused flocculation at low polymer concentration while at high concentration, the adsorbed chitosan molecule led to steric stabilization. Drug entrapment efficiency decreased as chitosan was added to liposomes, showing the disturbance of bilayers. Upon dilution, the leakage of leuprolide from low purity liposomes was larger than that from high purity liposomes. In conclusion, low purity lipid possessed more negative charge and formed thicker adsorptive layer by stronger electrostatic attraction with chitosan. The interaction between chitosan and the polar head groups on the surface of phospholipid bilayers may interfere with leuprolide entrapped in liposomes and result in the leakage of leuprolide.

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