Mucoadhesive nanostructured polyelectrolytes complexes modulate the intestinal permeability of methotrexate

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Nanostructured polyelectrolytes complexes (nano PECs) loaded with methotrexate (MTX) were obtained by the polyelectrolyte complexation of chitosan (CS) and hyaluronic acid (HA), further incorporating hypromellose phthalate (HP). The mean diameter of nano PECs ranged from 325 to 458 nm, with a narrow size distribution. Zeta potential was close to +30 mV, decreasing to +21 mV after the incorporation of HP, a range of values that favour the physical stability of system as the interaction with cationic biological membranes. The electrostatic interactions between the different components were indicated by the FTIR data. The mucoadhesiveness of nano PECs was demonstrated and MTX and HP influenced this property. The cell viability assays showed the biosafety of the isolated polymers and nano PECs in intestinal HT29-MTX and Caco-2 cell lines at 4 h of test. The permeability values of MTX loaded in CS/HA nano PECs were 7.6 and 4-fold higher than those of CS/HA/HP nano PECS and free drug, respectively, in the Caco-2 monoculture. In mucus secreting co-culture cell model these values were 3 and 6.5 fold, respectively. Such features indicate that nano PECs developed in this work can be promising carriers for MTX in the treatment of local or systemic diseases.

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