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Polymeric Micro/Nanocarriers

Polymeric micro/nanocarriers are drug carriers of natural, semisynthetic, and synthetic polymers within the nano- to microscale range. These carriers may include polymeric micro/nanospheres and micro/nanocapsules. The former consists of polymeric particle matrices, whereas the latter denotes vesicles (generally oily) covered with polymers [51]. Polymeric particles provide stability and protection of macromolecular drugs such as proteins, peptides, or DNA molecules from various environmental hazards such as pH, temperature, and enzymatic degradation [52—55]. Polymeric NPs have been extensively applied to oral, transdermal, and ocular delivery systems.

Natural Polymers

This class of polymers consists of CS, alginate, albumin, hyaluronic acid (HA), collagen, and gelatin. The natural polymers have been extensively used to prepare micro- and nanoparticles. Among them, CS has been frequently utilized in the preparation of NPs with different routes of delivery.

Chitosan-Based Micro/nanoparticles

CS is a natural cationic polysaccharide composed of glucosamine and N-acetyl- glucosamine units, which impart properties such as biocompatibility, biodegradability, and nontoxicity [56]. The physicochemical properties of CS are remarkably dependent on the degree of deacetylation, molecular weight, and surrounding pH value. CS is extensively utilized for superior mucoadhesive property and penetration-enhancing effect, which can increase drug bioavailability [57,58]. CS-based micro/nanoparticles have been successfully used to deliver drugs by different routes, including oral [58], topical [59], pulmonary [60], and nasal [61].

 
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