A novel method for synthesizing PEGylated chitosan nanoparticles: strategy, preparation, and in vitro analysis
Meenakshi Malhotra, Ciaran Lane, Catherine Tomaro-Duchesneau, Shyamali Saha, Satya Prakash
Biomedical Technology and Cell Therapy Research Laboratory, Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Physiology, Artificial Cells and Organs Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, Quebec, Canada
Abstract: Preparation of poly (ethylene glycol) (PEG)-grafted chitosan is essential for improving the biocompatibility and water solubility of chitosan. Presently available methods for this have limitations. This article describes a new method for preparing PEGylated chitosan nanoparticles. For this chitosan was chemoselectively modified using a novel scheme at the C6 position of its repeating units by PEG. The amine groups at the C2 position of the chitosan were protected using phthalic anhydride. Sodium hydride was used to catalyze the etherification reaction between chlorinated chitosan and methyl-PEG, and PEG-grafted chitosan was successfully synthesized. Each step was characterized using 13C nuclear magnetic resonance and Fourier transform infrared. After PEGylation the phthaloylated chitosan was successfully deprotected using hydrazine monohydrate. The synthetic scheme proposed demonstrates a new method for grafting PEG onto chitosan with a moderate degree of substitution. The potential of this polymer in nanoparticle preparation using an ionic gelation method and its gene delivery potentials were investigated by complexing a fluorescently labeled control siRNA. The result showed that suitable nanoparticles can be synthesized using this polymer and that they have capacity to carry genes and provide adequate transfection efficacy with no toxicity when tested in neuronal cells.
Keywords: nanoparticles, chitosan, poly (ethylene glycol), polymeric membrane, gene delivery
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