Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Chitosan Based Self-assembled Nanoparticles in Drug Delivery

Version 1 : Received: 1 February 2018 / Approved: 1 February 2018 / Online: 1 February 2018 (17:23:31 CET)
Version 2 : Received: 2 February 2018 / Approved: 2 February 2018 / Online: 2 February 2018 (16:22:41 CET)
Version 3 : Received: 20 February 2018 / Approved: 21 February 2018 / Online: 21 February 2018 (16:00:38 CET)

How to cite: Peniche, C.; Peniche, H.; Pérez, J. Chitosan Based Self-assembled Nanoparticles in Drug Delivery. Preprints 2018, 2018020012. Peniche, C.; Peniche, H.; Pérez, J. Chitosan Based Self-assembled Nanoparticles in Drug Delivery. Preprints 2018, 2018020012.


Chitosan is a cationic polysaccharide usually obtained by alkaline deacetylation of chitin poly(N-acetylglucosamine). It is biocompatible, biodegradable, mucoadhesive and non-toxic. These excellent biological properties make chitosan a good candidate as platform for developing drug delivery systems with improved biodistribution, increased specificity and sensitivity, and reduced pharmacological toxicity. In particular, chitosan nanoparticles have been found appropriate for non-invasive routes of drug administration: oral, nasal, pulmonary and ocular routes. These applications are facilitated by the absorption-enhancing effect of chitosan. Many different procedures have been proposed for obtaining chitosan nanoparticles. Particularly, the introduction of hydrophobic moieties into chitosan molecules by grafting to generate a hydrophobic-hydrophilic balance promoting self-assembling is a current and appealing approach. The grafting agent can be a hydrophobic moiety to form micelles that can entrap lipophilic drugs or it can be the drug itself. Another suitable way to generate self-assembled chitosan nanoparticles is through the formation of polyelectrolyte complexes with polyanions. This paper reviews the main approaches developed for preparing chitosan nanoparticles by self-assembling by both procedures and illustrates the state of the art of their application in drug delivery.


chitosan; self-assembled; polyelectrolyte complex; nanoparticle; drug delivery


Chemistry and Materials Science, Medicinal Chemistry

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