Chitosan Microspheres in Novel Drug Delivery Systems
The main aim in the drug therapy of any disease is to attain the desired therapeutic concentration of the drug in plasma or at the site of action and maintain it for the entire duration of treatment. A drug on being used in conventional dosage forms leads to unavoidable fluctuations in the drug concentration leading to under medication or overmedication and increased frequency of dose administration as well as poor patient compliance. To minimize drug degradation and loss, to prevent harmful side effects and to increase drug bioavailability various drug delivery and drug targeting systems are currently under development. Handling the treatment of severe disease conditions has necessitated the development of innovative ideas to modify drug delivery techniques. Drug targeting means delivery of the drug-loaded system to the site of interest. Drug carrier systems include polymers, micelles, microcapsules, liposomes and lipoproteins to name some. Different polymer carriers exert different effects on drug delivery. Synthetic polymers are usually non-biocompatible, non-biodegradable and expensive. Natural polymers such as chitin and chitosan are devoid of such problems. Chitosan comes from the deacetylation of chitin, a natural biopolymer originating from crustacean shells. Chitosan is a biocompatible, biodegradable, and nontoxic natural polymer with excellent film-forming ability. Being of cationic character, chitosan is able to react with polyanions giving rise to polyelectrolyte complexes. Hence chitosan has become a promising natural polymer for the preparation of microspheres/nanospheres and microcapsules. The techniques employed to microencapsulate with chitosan include ionotropic gelation, spray drying, emulsion phase separation, simple and complex coacervation. This review focuses on the preparation, characterization of chitosan microspheres and their role in novel drug delivery systems.