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Int J Pharm. 2001 Apr 17;217(1-2):183-91.

Clearance characteristics of chitosan based formulations in the sheep nasal cavity.

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  • 1School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Nottingham, University Park, NG7 2RD, Nottingham, UK.


This paper describes the clearance characteristics of two bioadhesive nasal delivery systems in the form of chitosan microspheres and chitosan solution, from the nasal cavity of conscious sheep. The pattern of deposition and clearance of the nasal dosage forms were evaluated using a radioactive tracer and the non-invasive technique of gamma scintigraphy. The clearance of chitosan microsphere and solution formulations was compared with that of a control solution. The data show that the control was cleared rapidly from the sheep nasal cavity with a half-time of clearance (time taken for 50% clearance; t(50%)) of about 15 min. The bioadhesive chitosan delivery systems were cleared at a slower rate, with half-times of clearance of 43 min and 115 min, for solution and microsphere formulations respectively. From the results reported in this study it can be concluded that the chitosan delivery systems investigated had significantly reduced rates of clearance from the sheep nasal cavity, as compared to the control. Consequently, chitosan delivery systems have the ability to increase the residence time of drug formulations in the nasal cavity thereby providing the potential for improved systemic medication. The nasal clearance rates recorded in the sheep model mimic very closely the clearance rates found in a previous study using human subjects. It can also be concluded that the sheep can be considered a suitable model for in vivo nasal clearance studies of novel bioadhesive drug delivery systems.

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