Intermolecular interaction and solid state characterization of abietic acid/chitosan solid dispersions possessing antimicrobial and antioxidant properties

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Graphical abstractThe aim of this work was to prepare and characterize solid dispersions of abietic acid (AB) and chitosan (CS) to investigate how formulation of the mixture may help in the battle against microbial colonization in different areas, such as the biomedical field or the food industry. Solid dispersions were characterized by differential scanning calorimetry, infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, polarized optical microscopy, zeta potential and size analysis. The data showed that the dispersion/solvent evaporation method formed solid dispersions in which abietic acid was molecularly dispersed in the carrier. A synergistic effect between the two components in terms of antioxidant and antimicrobial properties was found, especially in the formulations obtained with 1/1 AB/CS molar ratio. Interestingly, the aggregation state (amorphous/crystalline) of AB seemed to affect the antimicrobial activity of the formulation, suggesting increased bioactivity when the drug was in the amorphous state. These findings, together with the demonstrated biocompatibility of the formulations, seem to open promising perspectives for a successful application of the developed AB/CS formulations in the biomedical field or in the food industry.

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