Chitin and chitosan derivatives are used as excipients and drug carriers in the pharmaceutical field. Their derivatization contributed to expansion of application and decrease toxicity. Chitosan is used as an excipient in oral dosage form. Chitosan tablet can exhibit a sustained drug release compared to commercial products. Films prepared using chitin or chitosan have been developed as wound dressings, oral mucoadhesive and water-resisting adhesive by virtue of their release characteristics and adhesion. Intratumoral administration of gadopentetic acid-chitosan complex nanoparticles (approximately 430 nm in diameter) has been more effective for gadolinium neutron-capture therapy compared with a group treated with the solution. Compared to intragastrical feeding with diphtheria toxoid (DT) in PBS, a strong enhancement of the systemic (IgG) and local (IgA) immune responses against DT has been observed in mice fed with DT loaded chitosan microparticles (approximately 4.7 µm in size). When DNA-loaded chitosan microspheres (1.15 - 1.28 μm) were intramuscularly administrated into mice, high ß-galactosidase and luciferase productions were obtained even after a long post-transfection period (12 weeks). N-Succinyl-chitosan (Suc-Chi) has been studied for cancer chemotherapy as a drug carrier and the conjugates of mitomycin C with Suc-Chi exhibited good antitumor activities against various tumors. Furthermore, trimethyl-chitosan and monocarboxymethyl-chitosan has been shown to be effective as intestinal absorption enhancers due to their physiological properties. Chitosan-thioglycolic acid conjugates has been found to be a promising candidate as scaffold material in tissue engineering due to their physicochemical properties. This review summarizes the application of chitin and chitosan derivatives for hospital preparations and drug carriers.
Keywords: chitin and chitosan derivatives, oral dosage form, wound dressing, nanoparticles, oral vaccination
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