Chitosan is a natural copolymer generally available in pharmaceutical and food powders associated with drugs, vitamins, and nutraceuticals. This study focused on monitoring the effect of the morphology and structural features of the chitosan particles for controlling the release profile of the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) propranolol hydrochloride. Chitosan with distinct molecular mass (low and medium) were used in the formulations as crystalline and irregular particles from commercial raw material, or as spherical, uniform, and amorphous spray-dried particles. The API–copolymer interactions were assessed when adding the drug before (drug-loaded particles) or after the spray drying (only mixed with blank particles). The formulations were further compared with physical mixtures of the API with chitin and microcrystalline cellulose. The scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images, surface area, particle size measurements, X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis and drug loading have supported the drug release behavior. The statistical analysis of experimental data demonstrated that it was possible to control the drug release behavior (immediate or slow drug release) from chitosan powders using different types of particles.
Polymers 2017, 9(7), 253; doi:10.3390/polym9070253