Objective: To prepare chitosan-okra gum nanoparticles and their evaluation as mucoadhesive
drug delivery system for intranasal delivery of esculin.
Method: Esculin loaded chitosan-okra gum based nanoparticles were prepared using ionic gelation
method. The preparation method was optimized using Box-Behnken experimental design employing
okra gum concentration, chitosan concentration, pH and stirring speed as independent variables and
particle size, encapsulation efficiency and zeta potential of the formulation were selected as dependent
variables. The optimized formulation was characterized using FTIR, SEM and TEM. The nanoparticles
were evaluated for their bioadhesive strength and in vitro drug release studies. The optimized intranasal
formulation was administered to rats and the pharmacokinetic profile and biodistribution studies
were carried out to calculate the targeting efficiency of the formulation in the brain.
Results: The nanoparticles were found to depict particle size in the range of 294.0 to 613.4 nm. The
concentration of gums was found to significantly influence the particle size and encapsulation efficiency.
The nanoparticles depicted bioadhesive strength of 32±2%. The in vitro drug release studies
showed 96.4±4.2% release of esculin from nanoparticles in 4h. The drug targeting of NPs to brain was
found to be nearly double that of esculin given as simple solution.
Conclusion: The nanoparticles prepared using chitosan-okra gum were found to possess good mucoadhesive
strength with and high brain targeting efficiency.