NOVEL SMART pH SENSITIVE CHITOSAN GRAFTED ALGINATE HYDROGEL MICROCAPSULES FOR ORAL PROTEIN DELIVERY: II. EVALUATION OF THE SWELLING BEHAVIOR
Objective: The main objective of this study is to evaluate the swelling behavior of pH sensitive chitosan (CS) grafted alginate (ALG) hydrogel microcapsules and compared with a simple alginate-chitosan mixed polyelectrolyte complex (PEC) to show the benefits of the used covalently grafting technique. In addition, the behavior of the swelling process under physiological conditions to stimulate gastric, colonic and intestinal medium for grafted PEC microcapsules will be investigated as well.
Methods: The new pH sensitive hydrogel microcapsules were prepared using â€œgrafting toâ€ technique. Swelling studies were conducted in buffer saline solutions with different pHs using wet beads. In addition; the sensitivity of the grafted microcapsules to the change of pH in the simulated gastric fluid (SGF; pH 1.2), (SIF; pH 6.8) and (SCF; pH 7.4) was investigated.
Results: It was observed from the swelling studies that sharp phase transition was recognized between pH 3â€“4. While this transition became broader and recognized between pH 3.0-7.4, where the maximum value of the equilibrium swelling degree was varied depending on the variation of CS concentration from 0.1% to 0.5%, both grafted and mixed microcapsules exhibit higher swelling degree at high pH 6.8 (120%, 100%) respectively.
Conclusion: It was clear from all swelling studies that the grafting technique may be a suitable way for large-scale production of pH sensitive alginateâ€“chitosan microcapsules as a potential system for site-specific oral delivery of protein drugs to different regions of the intestinal tract.
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