Structure and organization of phospholipid/polysaccharide nanoparticles

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Journal Article
Journal of Physics Condensed Matter, 2008, 20 (10)
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In recent years nanoparticlesand microparticles composed of polymeric or lipid material have been proposed as drug carriers for improving the efficacy of encapsulated drugs. For the production of these systems different materials have been proposed, among them phospholipids and polysaccharides due to their biocompatibility, biodegradability, low cost and safety. We report here a morphological and structural investigation, performed using cryo-TEM, static light scattering and small angle neutron and x-ray scattering, on phospholipid/saccharide nanoparticles loaded with a lipophilic positively charged drug (tamoxifen citrate) used in breast cancer therapy. The lipid component was soybean lecithin; the saccharide one was chitosan that usually acts as an outer coating increasing vesicle stability. The microscopy and scattering data indicate the presence of two distinct nanoparticle families: uni-lamellar vesicles with average radius 90and multi-lamellar vesicles with average radius 440. In both families the inner core is occupied by the solvent. The presence of tamoxifen gives rise to a multi-lamellar structure of the lipid outer shell. It also induces a positive surface charge into the vesicles, repelling the positively charged chitosan molecules which therefore do not take part in nanoparticle formation. © IOP Publishing Ltd.
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