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Advances and Potential Applications of Chitosan Nanoparticles as a Delivery Carrier for the Mucosal Immunity of Vaccine

[ Vol. 14 , Issue. 1 ]


Dan Li, Dongwei Fu, Hong Kang, Guangyu Rong, Zheng Jin, Xiaohua Wang and Kai Zhao   Pages 27 - 35 ( 9 )


Background: Drug research and development has entered into the new epoch of innovation formulation, and the drug delivery system has been in the forefront of pharmaceutical innovation. Chitosan, a natural polysaccharide derived from chitin, due to its well-known biocompatibility and biodegradability, it has been widely used in drug delivery, immunostimulation, tissue regeneration, blood coagulation, wound healing, drug delivery and tissue engineering. Chitosan has become a valuable vaccine adjuvant and delivery carrier, which have attracted increasing attention for its applications. In this paper, we reviewed chitosan nanoparticles, which is a promising biomaterial as vaccine adjuvant and delivery carrier, including characteristics, preparation methods and applications, or even its limitations. We also investigated the mucosal immune delivery route for drug loaded chitosan nanoparticles, such as the routes of oral and nasal. Due to the low toxicity, better biodegradability and adhesivity of chitosan nanoparticles, it can be used as the delivery carrier of vaccine antigens and drugs. These promising studies laid a foundation for the applications of chitosan nanoparticles as a delivery carrier in the vaccine or drug.

Methods: We undertook a structured research of biodegradable polymeric nanoparticles of chitosan used as a delivery carrier for the mucosal immunity of vaccine. We have searched the bibliographic databases for peer-reviewed research literature. The outstanding characteristics of the screened papers were described respectively, and a systematic content analysis methodology was used to analyse the findings.

Results: Sixty-three papers were included in the review, the majority defined leadership and governance approaches that had impacted upon the polymeric nanoparticles as the delivery carrier for the mucosal immunity of vaccine in therapeutic applications and developments. Thirty-five papers outlined the superiority characteristics of chitosan nanoparticles that applied in the field of vaccine. Twenty-eight papers overviewed the application prospects of chitosan derivatives used as drug delivery systerm. These included current advances in research and clinical applications of chitosan derivatives. This review identified the drug delivery systerm of chitosan or its derivatives, and we described the synthesis methods, applications and challenges of chitosan.

Conclusion: The findings of this review identified that the chitosan derivatives were used as delivery carrier for vaccines. It also indicates that the chitosan or its derivatives play a vital role in the drug and vaccine delivery systerm.


Chitosan nanoparticles, delivery carrier, immune adjuvant, mucosal immunity, vaccine.


Key Laboratory of Microbiology, School of Life Science, Heilongjiang University, Harbin 150080

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