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Carbohydr Polym. 2013 Apr 15;94(1):619-25. doi: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2013.01.017. Epub 2013 Jan 18.

Cavitation effect on chitosan nanoparticle size: a possible approach to protect drugs from ultrasonic stress.

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  • 1Department of Life and Environment Sciences, University of Cagliari, Via Ospedale 72, 09124 Cagliari, Italy.


The objective of this study was to verify the influence of different modes of ultrasonic radiation on both the mean diameter and the polydispersity index (PI) of chitosan (CH) nanoparticles, which were prepared by means of the ionotropic gelation method. The variations in duration, intensity and mode of cycle of ultrasonic radiation allowed us to highlight several optimal treatments in order to obtain a potential carrier for site-specific drug delivery. Despite the high utility, ultrasound may be a risk factor for sensitive drug-loaded nanoparticles; in order to protect the drug from thermal or mechanical stress, the effects of ultrasonic radiation only on the CH dispersion (instead of the chitosan/tripolyphosphate (TPP) mixture) were studied, without damaging the drug added to the TPP solution. The increase of the wave amplitude, mode of cycle and time of sonication decreased the particle mean diameter; moreover, the mode of cycle showed a greater effect than the other parameters on the PI of the nanoparticle system. Both the mean diameter and the PI of CH nanoparticles increased with increasing CH concentration. The application of ultrasound only on the CH dispersion showed interesting results, particularly in regard to formulations prepared from low and medium molecular weight chitosan.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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