Chitosan-based Drug Delivery Systems

Eur J Pharm Biopharm. 2012 Aug;81(3):463-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ejpb.2012.04.007. Epub 2012 Apr 26.


Within the past 20 years, a considerable amount of work has been published on chitosan and its potential use in drug delivery systems. In contrast to all other polysaccharides having a monograph in a pharmacopeia, chitosan has a cationic character because of its primary amino groups. These primary amino groups are responsible for properties such as controlled drug release, mucoadhesion, in situ gellation, transfection, permeation enhancement, and efflux pump inhibitory properties. Due to chemical modifications, most of these properties can even be further improved. Within this review, an overview on the advantages of chitosan for various types of drug delivery systems is provided.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chitosan / chemistry*
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Drug Carriers / chemistry*
  • Drug Delivery Systems*
  • Humans
  • Permeability
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / administration & dosage


  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Drug Carriers
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Chitosan