Staggered Herringbone Microfluid Device for the Manufacturing of Chitosan/TPP Nanoparticles: Systematic Optimization and Preliminary Biological Evaluation

Authors: E. Chiesa, A. Greco, F. Riva, E.M. Tosca, R. Dorati, S. Pisani, T. Modena, B. Conti, and I. Genta

Journal: International Journal of Molecular Sciences

DOI: 10.3390/ijms20246212

Publication - Abstract

December 09, 2019


Chitosan nanoparticles (CS NPs) showed promising results in drug, vaccine and gene delivery for the treatment of various diseases. The considerable attention towards CS was owning to its outstanding biological properties, however, the main challenge in the application of CS NPs was faced during their size-controlled synthesis. Herein, ionic gelation reaction between CS and sodium tripolyphosphate (TPP), a widely used and safe CS cross-linker for biomedical application, was exploited by a microfluidic approach based on a staggered herringbone micromixer (SHM) for the synthesis of TPP cross-linked CS NPs (CS/TPP NPs). Screening design of experiments was applied to systematically evaluate the main process and formulative factors affecting CS/TPP NPs physical properties (mean size and size distribution). Effectiveness of the SHM-assisted manufacturing process was confirmed by the preliminary evaluation of the biological performance of the optimized CS/TPP NPs that were internalized in the cytosol of human mesenchymal stem cells through clathrin-mediated mechanism. Curcumin, selected as a challenging model drug, was successfully loaded into CS/TPP NPs (EE% > 70%) and slowly released up to 48 h via the diffusion mechanism. Finally, the comparison with the conventional bulk mixing method corroborated the efficacy of the microfluidics-assisted method due to the precise control of mixing at microscales.

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