Complex Coacervates between a Lactose-Modified Chitosan and Hyaluronic Acid as Radical-Scavenging Drug Carriers.

PMID 30204431


Complex coacervation of two oppositely charged polysaccharides, namely a lactose-modified chitosan (CTL) and hyaluronan (HA), was investigated in this study. Coacervates of the two polysaccharides were prepared by drop-by-drop injection of HA into CTL. Transmittance and dynamic light scattering (DLS) measurements in combination with TEM analyses demonstrated the formation of spheroidal colloids in the nano-/microsize range showing good homogeneity. Strikingly, the presence of 150 mM supporting NaCl did not hamper the colloid formation. Stability studies on selected formulations demonstrated that HA/CTL coacervates were stable up to 3 weeks at 37 °C and behaved as pH-responsive colloids since transition from entangled to disentangled chains was attained for a proper pH range. The possibility of freeze-drying the coacervates for storage purposes and the ability of encapsulating selected payloads were investigated as well, for two values of the fraction of the lactitol side-chain substitution (FL). Finally, biological tests using human neutrophils were undertaken at acidic pH value (pH = 6.0): under such experimental conditions, akin to those frequently occurring in the inflammatory microenvironment, coacervates scavenged reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated by these cells in basal conditions. Given the well documented bioactivity of CTL with respect to chitosan toward cartilage regeneration, these findings point to a possible application of HA/CTL-based colloids as scavenging and bioactive carriers for the delivery of therapeutic molecules at confined inflamed sites such as knee joints.