Novel poly(L-histidine)-chitosan/alginate complex microcapsules were prepared from biodegradable polymers poly(L-histidine) (PLHis) in the presence of chitosan at acetate buffer solution pH 4.6. Microcapsules obtained are spherical and well-dispersed with a smooth surface and a narrow size distribution. The microcapsules can encapsulate the protein model drug hemoglobin (Hb) efficiently. The results show that the complex microcapsules with low, medium, or high molecular weight of chitosan (0.05%, w/v), the highest encapsulation efficiencies obtained are 91.3%, 85.9%, and 94.2% with loading efficiencies of 47.8%, 44.3%, and 39.7%, respectively. The release profiles indicate that Hb-loaded microcapsules conform to first-order release kinetic in whole procedure, and 84.8%, 71.4%, and 87.3% of Hb were released during 72-h incubation in PBS pH6.8 for microcapsules with low, medium, and high molecular weight chitosan (0.05%, w/v), respectively. The results also indicate that particle size and drug loading efficiency have a significant influence on the release profile and encapsulation efficiency. Our results reveal that the PLHis-chitosan/alginate complex microcapsules are able to encapsulate and release Hb and are potential carriers for protein drugs. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2012
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