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AAPS PharmSciTech. 2017 May;18(4):1084-1094. doi: 10.1208/s12249-016-0677-x. Epub 2016 Dec 19.

Effect of Formulation and Process Parameters on Chitosan Microparticles Prepared by an Emulsion Crosslinking Technique.

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Department of Bioengineering, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio, 43606, USA.
Department of Bioengineering, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio, 43606, USA.
Department of Neurosciences, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio, 43614, USA.


There are many studies about the synthesis of chitosan microparticles; however, most of them have very low production rate, have wide size distribution, are difficult to reproduce, and use harsh crosslinking agents. Uniform microparticles are necessary to obtain repeatable drug release behavior. The main focus of this investigation was to study the effect of the process and formulation parameters during the preparation of chitosan microparticles in order to produce particles with narrow size distribution. The technique evaluated during this study was emulsion crosslinking technique. Chitosan is a biocompatible and biodegradable material but lacks good mechanical properties; for that reason, chitosan was ionically crosslinked with sodium tripolyphosphate (TPP) at three different ratios (32, 64, and 100%). The model drug used was acetylsalicylic acid (ASA). During the preparation of the microparticles, chitosan was first mixed with ASA and then dispersed in oil containing an emulsifier. The evaporation of the solvents hardened the hydrophilic droplets forming microparticles with spherical shape. The process and formulation parameters were varied, and the microparticles were characterized by their morphology, particle size, drug loading efficiency, and drug release behavior. The higher drug loading efficiency was achieved by using 32% mass ratio of TPP to chitosan. The average microparticle size was 18.7 μm. The optimum formulation conditions to prepare uniform spherical microparticles were determined and represented by a region in a triangular phase diagram. The drug release analyses were evaluated in phosphate buffer solution at pH 7.4 and were mainly completed at 24 h.


chitosan; drug delivery; emulsion; microparticles

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