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Application of Chitosan and its Derivatives in Nanocarrier Based Pulmonary Drug Delivery Systems

[ Vol. 5 , Issue. 4 ]


Kamal Dua*, Mary Bebawy, Rajendra Awasthi, Rakesh K. Tekade, Muktika Tekade, Gaurav Gupta, Terezinha De Jesus Andreoli Pinto and Philip M. Hansbro   Pages 243 - 249 ( 7 )


Background: The respiratory tract as a non-invasive route of drug administration is gaining increasing attention in the present time on achieving both local and the systemic therapeutic effects. Success in achieving pulmonary delivery, requires overcoming barriers including mucociliary clearance and uptake by macrophages. An effective drug delivery system delivers the therapeutically active moieties at the right time and rate to target sites. A major limitation associated with most of the currently available conventional and controlled release drug delivery devices is that not all the drug candidates are well absorbed uniformly locally or systemically.

Methods: We searched and reviewed the literature focusing on chitosan and chitosan derivative based nanocarrier systems used in pulmonary drug delivery. We focused on the applications of chitosan in the development of nanoparticles for this purpose.

Results: Chitosan, a natural linear bio-polyaminosaccharide is central in the development of novel drug delivery systems (NDDS) including nanoparticles for use in the treatment of various respiratory diseases. It achieves this through its unique properties of biodegradability, biocompatibility, mucoadhesivity and its ability to enhance macromolecule permeation across membranes. It also achieves sustained and targeted effects, primary requirements for an effective pulmonary drug delivery system. This review highlights the applications and importance of chitosan with special emphasis on nanotechnology, employed in the management of respiratory diseases such as asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), lung cancer and pulmonary fibrosis.

Conclusion: This review will be of interest to both the biological and formulation scientists as it provides a summary on the utility of chitosan in pulmonary drug delivery systems. At present, there are no patented chitosan based controlled release products available for pulmonary drug delivery and so this area has enormous potential in the field of respiratory science.


Chitosan, cancer, nanoparticles, nanomedicine, pulmonary, respiratory.


Discipline of Pharmacy, Graduate School of Health, University of Technology Sydney, Ultimo NSW 2007, Discipline of Pharmacy, Graduate School of Health, University of Technology Sydney, Ultimo NSW 2007, NKBR College of Pharmacy & Research Centre, Meerut, 245 206, Uttar Pradesh, National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Gandhinagar-382355, Gujarat, TIT College of Pharmacy, Technocrats Institute of Technology, Anand Nagar, Bhopal MP 462021, School of Pharmacy, Jaipur National University, Delhi-Agra Bypass, Jagatpura 302017, Jaipur, Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW2308

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