Novel mucoadhesive nasal inserts based on chitosan/hyaluronate polyelectrolyte complexes for peptide and protein delivery

Barbara Luppi, Federica Bigucci, Laura Mercolini, Alessandro Musenga, Milena Sorrenti, Laura Catenacci, Vittorio Zecchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objectives The purpose of this study was the preparation and characterisation of mucoadhesive nasal inserts based on chitosan/hyaluronate polyelectrolyte complexes prepared at various pHs and at different molar ratios. Methods A suspension of chitosan/hyaluronate complexes with or without the model drugs (vancomycin or insulin) was lyophilised into small inserts. Complexation yield, FT-IR spectra and thermogravimetric analysis were used to study the degree of interactive strength between polyions. In-vitro swelling, mucoadhesion and release tests were performed in order to investigate delivery of vancomycin and insulin in the nasal cavity. Key findings The results indicated that the selection of complex preparative conditions allows modulation of insert swelling and mucoadhesion ability. Nasal inserts containing vancomycin or insulin had showed completely different drug release behaviour. Conclusions Chitosan/hyaluronate polyelectrolyte complexes can be used for the formulation of mucoadhesive nasal inserts for the delivery of peptide and protein drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-157
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2009



  • Insulin
  • Mucoadhesion
  • Nasal administration
  • Polyelectrolyte complexes
  • Vancomycin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Pharmacology

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