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Biocompatible oligochitosans as cationic modifiers of alginate/Ca microcapsules.

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Laboratory of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Technology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of the Basque Country, Vitoria -Gasteiz. Spain.


In the past, it has been proven that by properly adjusting the molecular mass of the oligochitosan samples, it is possible to optimize the formation of rigid, biocompatible capsules with semipermeable membranes under physiological conditions. In this study, the feasibility of four oligochitosan samples, with varying molar masses (M(n) in range 3-5 kDa), as biocompatible coatings of alginate/Ca capsules was investigated. By selection of appropriate depolymerization and purification methods we obtained oligochitosan samples that appeared to be noncytotoxic for C(2)C(12) myoblasts and did not influence the mammalian cell metabolism especially in relative short time during the process of capsule formation. Furthermore, oligochitosans can be used as a tool to reduce the membrane cut-off of the alginate capsules. However, such reduction, as well as mechanical resistance of formed microcapsules, depend on MM of the cationic polysaccharide and the chemical composition of the alginate (mannuronic/guluronic acid ratio). Here, we address that the use of low molar mass chitosan (< 5000 g/mol) permits the formation of mechanical stable capsules at physiological pH, which represents a strong advantage over other chitosan-based chemistries.

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