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Impact of molecular weight on the formation of electrosprayed chitosan microcapsules as delivery vehicles for bioactive compounds

Gómez-Mascaraque, Laura G., Sanchez, Gloria, López-Rubio, Amparo
Carbohydrate polymers 2016 v.150 pp. 121-130
Norovirus, active ingredients, antioxidant activity, antiviral properties, bioactive compounds, chitosan, discriminant analysis, electrical conductivity, encapsulation, mice, molecular weight, surface tension, viscosity
The molecular weight of chitosan is one of its most determinant characteristics, which affects its processability and its performance as a biomaterial. However, information about the effect of this parameter on the formation of electrosprayed chitosan microcapsules is scarce. In this work, the impact of chitosan molecular weight on its electrosprayability was studied and correlated with its effect on the viscosity, surface tension and electrical conductivity of solutions. A Discriminant Function Analysis revealed that the morphology of the electrosprayed chitosan materials could be correctly predicted using these three parameters for almost 85% of the samples. The suitability of using electrosprayed chitosan capsules as carriers for bioactive agents was also assessed by loading them with a model active compound, (−)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). This encapsulation, with an estimated efficiency of around 80% in terms of preserved antioxidant activity, showed the potential to prolong the antiviral activity of EGCG against murine norovirus via gradual bioactive release combined with its protection against degradation in simulated physiological conditions.