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THE PHARMA REVIEW (MAY - JUNE 2012)

Chitosan and its Derivatives: Drug Delivery and Biomedical Applications

Rajneet Kaur2, Babita Garg1, Sarwar Beg1, Bhupinder Singh1*

Abstract: Chitosan is one of the most bountiful natural biopolymer. Of late, it has become cynosure across the globe owing to an unusual combination of biological activities coupled with mechanical and physical properties. Chitosan polymers are natural cationic amino polysaccharides having unique structures possessing multidimensional characteristics and highly sophisticated functions with wide ranging pharmaceutical and biomedical applications. Chitosan exhibits unique physicochemical (polycationic, reactive -OH and -NH2 groups) and biological (bioactive, biocompatible, biodegradable) meritorious characteristics. These inimitable properties make chitosan an excellent material for the development of several biomedical applications. One of the most well-known biomedical applications of chitosan and its derivatives are is its usage in diverse drug delivery systems. Chitosan has been used in the design of many different types of drug carriers for various routes of administration, e.g., oral, parenteral, ophthalmic, buccal, transdermal, nasal, vaginal, cervical, intrauterine and rectal.
 
Introduction
Chitosan can be flexibly engineered into different shapes and drug delivery geometries such as nanoparticles, microspheres, membranes, beads, sponges and rods. The positive attributes of chitosan are excellent biocompatibility and admirable biodegradability with ecological safety and low toxicity. Wide antimicrobial activity and low immunogenicity have further provided ample opportunities for its further development. Lately, it has generated immense interest not only as an under-utilized resource, but also as a new functional biomaterial of high potential in variegated domains. Chitosan itself, in chemically modified, grafted or complexed form, has lead to broad range of biomedical applications. The current manuscript endeavors to provide a bird’s eye view on various facets of chitosan and its derivatives encompassing their potential biomedical applications especially in drug delivery, citing relevant instances from the prior art.

 

 

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