• biodegradable;
  • biopolymers;
  • drug-delivery systems


In this article, we introduce a new method for preparing ultrasmall chitosan (CS)/succinyl β-cyclodextrin (SCD) nanoparticles (NPs) intended for loading bovine serum albumin (BSA) as a model protein. The proposed method is based on the complex coacervation technique followed by ionotropic gelation with tripolyphosphate. SCD, an anionic derivative of cyclodextrin, was synthesized and used in CS-based NPs to enhance the entrapment efficiency of BSA. The results show that with this approach, ultrasmall, compact, and neutralized NPs with a mean particle size near 30 nm were obtained. A high degree of protein entrapment in the NPs led to a significant improvement in the BSA release profile with a low initial burst release (ca. 3% w/v of the initially loaded BSA) and a sustained release over time. This enabled a suitable nanocarrier for long-term protein delivery (30% release over 120 h). © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2014, 131, 39648.