Chitin is the second most abundant polysaccharide present in nature; however, chitin has more applications when transformed into chitosan (CS). It is biocompatible, biodegradable, mucoadhesive, soluble in acidic-solutions, nontoxic and nonallergenic. The main drawback of chitosan in pharmaceutical procedures is its low solubility in physiological medium. Chitosan shows physicochemical characteristics that allow it to interact with a wide variety of molecules. This is of particular interest when increasing the solubility of poor water-soluble drugs. For this purpose, chitosan can be used in oral, nasal and ocular routes. In order to modulate drug release rate and achieve a proper drug delivery in physiological medium, some parameters can be modified when solid dispersions or nanoparticles (NPs) based on chitosan are being designed. In case of nanoparticles, chitosan can be used as the main component or as a modifying agent. In order to optimize drug loading and drug delivery, response surface methodology (RSM) is an interesting tool usually underestimated in the pharmaceutical field, which allows us to optimize the parameters involved in the process simultaneously and not by different steps, which usually lead to mistakes.
Part of the book: Biological Activities and Application of Marine Polysaccharides