In the present study, we report the properties of a mucoadhesive chitosan-pectinate nanoparticulate formulation able to retain its integrity in the milieu of the upper gastrointestinal tract and subsequently, mucoadhere and release curcumin in colon conditions. Using this system, we aimed to deliver curcumin to the colon for the possible management of colorectal cancer. The delivery system comprised of a chitosan-pectinate composite nanopolymeric with a z-average of 206.0 nm (±6.6 nm) and zeta potential of +32.8 mV (±0.5 mV) and encapsulation efficiency of 64%. The nanoparticles mucoadhesiveness was higher at alkaline pH compared to acidic pH. Furthermore, more than 80% release of curcumin was achieved in pectinase-enriched medium (pH 6.4) as opposed to negligible release in acidic and enzyme-restricted media at pH 6.8. SEM images of the nanoparticles after exposure to the various media indicate a retained matrix in acid media as opposed to a distorted/fragmented matrix in pectinase-enriched medium. The data strongly indicates that the system has the potential to be applied as a colon-targeted mucoadhesive curcumin delivery system for the possible treatment of colon cancer.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.