Article

Insight on the Formation of Chitosan Nanoparticles through Ionotropic Gelation with Tripolyphosphate

Laboratory of Molecular Engineering, Department of Physics, University of Patras , Patras GR-26500, Greece.
Molecular Pharmaceutics (Impact Factor: 4.79). 07/2012; 9(10):2856-62. DOI: 10.1021/mp300162j
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This work reports details pertaining to the formation of chitosan nanoparticles that we prepare by the ionic gelation method. The molecular interactions of the ionic cross-linking of chitosan with tripolyphosphate have been investigated and elucidated by means of all-electron density functional theory. Solvent effects have been taken into account using implicit models. We have identified primary-interaction ionic cross-linking configurations that we define as H-link, T-link, and M-link, and we have quantified the corresponding interaction energies. H-links, which display high interaction energies and are also spatially broadly accessible, are the most probable cross-linking configurations. At close range, proton transfer has been identified, with maximum interaction energies ranging from 12.3 up to 68.3 kcal/mol depending on the protonation of the tripolyphosphate polyanion and the relative coordination of chitosan with tripolyphosphate. On the basis of our results for the linking types (interaction energies and torsion bias), we propose a simple mechanism for their impact on the chitosan/TPP nanoparticle formation process. We introduce the β ratio, which is derived from the commonly used α ratio but is more fundamental since it additionally takes into account structural details of the oligomers.

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