S-preactivated thiolated glycol chitosan useful to combine mucoadhesion and drug delivery

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Graphical abstractThis work describes S-preactivated N-acetylcysteine (NAC)- and glutathione (GSH)-glycol chitosan (GC) polymer conjugates engineered as potential mucoadhesive platform. Preactivated thiomers (GC-NAC-MNA, GC-GSH-MNA) were synthesized by bond formation between GC-NAC or GC-GSH and 2-mercaptonicotinic acid (MNA) used as ligand. The presence of protected thiol moieties on this new class of thiolated GC made them not subject to oxidation. The structural modifications of the resulting derivatives were confirmed by proton Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (1H NMR) and Size Exclusion Chromatography (SEC). The conjugates displayed 91.2% and 90.1% of S-preactivation for GC-NAC-MNA and GC-GSH-MNA, respectively. The polymers were tested in ex-vivo and in vitro for their mucoadhesive properties and toxicity. The results showed that the preactivation of GC-NAC and GC-GSH increased their mucoadhesive abilities compared to their thiolated precursors by 1.4-, 4.4-fold in time of adhesion evaluated using rotating cylinder method, 1.6-, 1.5-fold in total work of adhesion (TWA) and 2.0-, 1.3-fold in maximum detachment force (MDA) determined using tensile studies, respectively. Moreover, water-uptake studies showed an improved in weight indicating water-uptake strongly dependent on derivations, before erosion occurred, whereas disintegration took place for the thiolated polymers within the first hour. The S-preactivated modification did not affect the cell viability of Caco2 cells exposed to the polymers. The release of the model drug sodium naproxen from tablets prepared with a lyophilized mixture of drug and polymer was studied via dissolution apparatus revealing that the preactivation on GC-GSH and GC-NAC involves a slowdown in the drug release rate. The results shown that the novel preactivated thiolated GC-derivatives can be considered promising excipients for the development of mucoadhesive drug delivery systems.

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