A research team comprising Mihaela Leonida and colleagues from the Fairleigh Dickinson University has reported a process for producing chitosan nanoparticles in the International Journal of Nano and Biomaterials.
Chitosan is a naturally available biodegradable and non-toxic polysaccharide, which can stop infection in wounds and improve the wound-healing process by promoting the growth of skin cells. It is used in preservative purposes for packaging foods and in dentistry to eliminate caries. It has also been assessed as an additive for use in antimicrobial textiles for producing clothes for healthcare and other professionals.
Chitosan nanoparticles have demonstrated efficient antimicrobial activity against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus saprophyticus. These materials find applications as a wound-healing material to prevent opportunistic infection and promote wound healing.
The research team utilized an ionic gelation process and sodium tripolyphosphate for producing their chitosan nanoparticles. In the ionic gelation process, bonds are formed between polymer strands by a cross-linking process. Under these conditions, the ionic gelation process eliminates the requirement for toxic chemicals or complicated preparative chemistry. Chitosan nanoparticles can also be produced in the presence of antimicrobial agents such as silver or copper ions. The team’s initial test results demonstrate the improved antimicrobial activity of the composite materials against two representative bacteria types.
The knowledge of the inhibition mechanism of the chiston nanoparticles against bacteria will be helpful in designing high-efficient antibacterial agents. The research team has also showed the skin regenerative properties of the chiston nanoparticles when materials were tested on skin cell keratinocytes and fibroblasts in the laboratory, paving the way to develop anti-aging skin care products.