Chemical cross-linking: A feasible approach to prolong doxylamine/pyridoxine release from spray-dried chitosan microspheres

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Spray-dried chitosan microparticles have been widely exploited as vehicles for mucosal drug delivery. Despite their advantages as pharmaceutical formulations, one of the major challenges is achieving sustained drug release, which would diminish toxicity and dosage frequency. The aim of this study was to formulate mucoadhesive glutaraldehyde cross-linked chitosan microparticles loaded with doxylamine succinate and pyridoxine hydrochloride as potential nasal drug delivery systems with sustained release. Microparticle models were formulated via spray-drying technique, using glutaraldehyde in different concentrations (0.1–1.0 mg/mL) as a cross-linking agent for chitosan. The obtained particles were with spherical shape, smooth surface and median diameter of 4 μm. The drug entrapment efficiency was high (80.47%–94.25%), indicating a tendency to decrease at higher glutaraldehyde concentrations. FTIR data demonstrated that there were no chemical interactions between glutaraldehyde and the drugs. The in vitro studies showed that the cross-linking process substantially limited particles swelling. The cross-linked particles exhibited sustained drug release characteristics at pH 6.8 over a period of 5 h with an initial burst-effect in the first 30 min. Drug release followed Korsmeyer-Peppas kinetics. Although a decrease of the particles mucoadhesive properties was observed after modification, all cross-linked formulations demonstrated high in vitro adsorption of mucin. The proposed models of mucoadhesive microsphere with sustained drug release are a perspective ground for further development of a novel delivery system for nasal administration of doxylamine and pyridoxine.Graphical abstract

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