• amphiphilic polyelectrolytes;
  • hydrophobic interactions;
  • nanoparticles;
  • protein delivery;
  • self-assembly


Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

A novel amphiphilic and biodegradable polyelectrolyte DS-CA is prepared by the esterification of DS with CA. DS-CA can self-assemble into stable nanoparticles in water. SOD can effectively associate with DS-CA at pH = 5.0 by virtue of electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions. SOD release from the complex nanoparticles is slow at pH = 1.2. The release at pH = 7.4 PBS shows an extended behavior and is tunable by changing the weight ratio of SOD to DS-CA as well as the CA substitution degree. Increasing the CA substitution degree of DS-CA can significantly enhance the cellular uptake of the loaded SOD. This study demonstrates that the amphiphilic DS-CA provides a promising strategy for oral delivery of protein/peptide drugs.