Overcoming the protein corona in chitosan-based nanoparticles

Caprifico, Anna E., Foot, Peter J.S., Polycarpou, Elena and Calabrese, Gianpiero (2021) Overcoming the protein corona in chitosan-based nanoparticles. Drug Discovery Today, 26(8), pp. 1825-1840. ISSN (print) 1359-6446


Numerous properties of chitosan have led to its extensive use in the formulation of nanomaterials for drug delivery. However, the cationic surface of chitosan-based nanoparticles adsorbs proteins upon exposure to biological fluids, forming a phenomenon known as ‘protein corona’. This causes several effects such as decreased bioavailability and limited in vivo clinical applications of chitosan nanoparticles. Understanding and overcoming the effects of protein adsorption on chitosan nanoparticles is key for drug delivery purposes. This review focuses on the strategies implemented to increase the stability of chitosan nanoparticles in the systemic circulation by averting the formation of protein corona and the limitations of PEGylation

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