Biocompatible Glycol Chitosan Microgels as Effective Drug Carriers

Gels. 2023 May 10;9(5):398. doi: 10.3390/gels9050398.


Glycol chitosan (GC) is a chitosan (CH) derivative with improved water solubility with regards to CH which affords significant solubility advantages. In this study, microgels of GC as p(GC) were synthesized by a microemulsion technique at various crosslinking ratios e.g., 5%, 10%, 50%, 75%, and 150% based on the repeating unit of GC using divinyl sulfone (DVS) as a crosslinker. The prepared p(GC) microgels were tested for blood compatibility and it was found that p(GC) microgels at 1.0 mg/mL concentration possessed a 1.15 ± 0.1% hemolysis ratio and 89 ± 5% blood clotting index value confirming their hemocompatibility. In addition, p(GC) microgels were found biocompatible with 75.5 ± 5% cell viability against L929 fibroblasts even at a 2.0 mg/mL concentration. By loading and releasing tannic acid (TA) (a polyphenolic compound with high antioxidant activity) as an active agent, p(GC) microgels' possible drug delivery device application was examined. The TA loading amount of p(GC) microgels was determined as 323.89 mg/g, and TA releases from TA loaded microgels (TA@p(GC)) were found to be linear within 9 h and a total amount of TA released was determined as 42.56 ± 2 mg/g within 57 h. According to the Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) test, 400 µL of the sample added to the ABTS+ solution inhibited 68.5 ± 1.7% of the radicals. On the other hand, the total phenol content (FC) test revealed that 2000 μg/mL of TA@p(GC) microgels resulted in 27.5 ± 9.5 mg/mL GA eq antioxidant properties.

Keywords: antioxidant activity; drug delivery system; glycol chitosan microsphere; natural polymeric drug carriers; tannic acid.

Grants and funding

Some parts of this work were supported by the startup funds (N. Sahiner) from the Ophthalmology Department at USF.