Author(s): Berger J, Reist M, Mayer JM, Felt O, Peppas NA,
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Abstract This review presents a critical analysis of covalently and ionically crosslinked chitosan hydrogels and related networks for medical or pharmaceutical applications. The structural basis of these hydrogels is discussed with reference to the specific chemical interactions, which dictate gel formation. The synthesis and chemistry of these hydrogels is discussed using specific pharmaceutical examples. Covalent crosslinking leads to formation of hydrogels with a permanent network structure, since irreversible chemical links are formed. This type of linkage allows absorption of water and/or bioactive compounds without dissolution and permits drug release by diffusion. pH-controlled drug delivery is made possible by the addition of another polymer. Ionically crosslinked hydrogels are generally considered as biocompatible and well-tolerated. Their non-permanent network is formed by reversible links. Ionically crosslinked chitosan hydrogels exhibit a higher swelling sensitivity to pH changes compared to covalently crosslinked chitosan hydrogels. This extends their potential application, since dissolution can occur in extreme acidic or basic pH conditions.
This article was published in Eur J Pharm Biopharm
and referenced in Journal of Membrane Science & Technology