Chitosan-based nanoparticles are promising materials for potential biomedical applications. We used Flash NanoPrecipitation as a rapid, scalable, single-step method to achieve self-assembly of crosslinked chitosan nanoparticles. Self-assembly was driven by electrostatic interactions, hydrogen bonding, and hydrophobic interactions; tannic acid served to precipitate chitosan to seed nanoparticle formation and crosslink the chitosan to stabilize the resulting particles. The size of the nanoparticles can be tuned by varying formulation parameters including the total solids concentration and block copolymer to core mass ratio. We demonstrated that hydrophobic moieties can be incorporated into the nanoparticle using a lipophilic fluorescent dye as a model system.
Keywords: Flash NanoPrecipitation; chitosan; crosslinking; nanoparticles; tannic acid.