A novel ionic amphiphilic chitosan derivative as a stabilizer of nanoemulsions: Improvement of antimicrobial activity of Cymbopogon citratus essential oil.
The aim of the present work was to compare the penetration enhancement properties of chitosan hydrochloride (HCS) both as a polymeric solution and as a nanoparticulate system with that of trimethyl chitosan hydrochloride (TMC) on buccal mucosa. The hydrophilic high molecular weight fluorescein isothiocyanate dextran (FD4; 4400 Da) was used as a macromolecule model. The mechanism involved in the HCS (solution and nanoparticles) and TMC solution penetration enhancement was investigated on pig buccal mucosa, characterized by having stratified epithelium and lacking in tight junctions. The permeation/penetration of FD4 and the change in morphology and histology of the mucosa after contact with the polymers were assessed: the experiments were performed ex-vivo by applying the formulations on excised porcine buccal tissue. For the morphology and the histology studies, the epithelial cell layers from freshly excised pig buccal mucosa were analysed with light microscopy by means of routine histopathology analysis (haematoxylin and eosin staining and Toluidine blue staining) and immunohistochemistry reactions. The organization of desmosomal junctions was assessed by means of an immunochemical reaction on desmosomes and transmission electron microscopy. Confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) was used to find evidence of the location of FD4 in the tissue. Furthermore, the increase of the FD4 apparent permeability coefficient was quantified by means of Franz diffusion cells using isolated buccal epithelium to demonstrate the penetration enhancement properties of the polymer systems. Morphological analysis, performed by light microscopy, transmission electron microscopy and CLSM, suggests a similar mechanism of penetration enhancement for both HCS and TMC solutions and for HCS nanoparticles. Such a mechanism probably involves a repackaging of the epithelial cells up to the basal membrane and a partial disarrangement of desmosomes. The cell viability and the nuclear integrity indicated on the semi-thin section stained with Toluidine blue and by CLSM analysis, respectively, suggest that HCS as a polymer solution and a nanoparticulate system, and TMC polymer solution, do not cause cell damage. Trimethyl chitosan and chitosan nanoparticulate systems were able to increase FD4 permeation across buccal epithelium to a greater extent than the chitosan solution.