Preparation and Characterization of Large Unilamellar Vesicles Mixed With Trimethylchitosan (TMC): The Effect of Polyelectrolyte Concentration

S.M. Van Der Merwe1, N. Bouropoulos2, 3, D.A. Katsamenis4, O.L. Lampou5, D.G. Fatouros6, *
1 School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK
2 Department of Materials Science, University of Patras, Patras, Greece
3 Foundation for Research and Technology, Hellas-Institute of Chemical Engineering and High Temperature Chemical Processes - FORTH/ICE-HT, Patras, Greece
4 Medway School of Pharmacy, University of Kent, Chatham, Kent, UK
5 μ-VIS X-ray Imaging Centre, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
6 Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, School of Pharmacy, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece

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© 2018 Van Der Merwe et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode). This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, School of Pharmacy, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, GR-54124 Thessaloniki, Greece, Tel: +30 2310 997653, Fax: +30 231099752; E-mail:dfatouro@pharm.auth.gr



The effect of different concentrations of the absorption enhancer Trimethyl Chitosan (TMC) to the physicochemical properties of Large Unilamellar Vesicles (LUV) comprised of L-a-Phospahtidyl Choline (PC) were investigated in the current study.


The Degree of Quartenization (DQ) of trimethylchitosan was assessed with nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR). The vesicles were characterized by means of Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS), ζ-potential, Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and Contact Angle Goniometry (CAG) measurements.


The data showed that the surface charge of the PC liposomes was significantly altered as a function of the TMC concentration, giving evidence of presence of the polyelectrolyte to the liposome’s membrane. Varying the concentration of TMC affected the phase Transition Temperature (Tm) of the lipid, verifying the miscibility of the polyelectrolyte with the lipid bilayer. The association of the polymer with the liposomes was related to the amount of the polyelectrolyte present, reflecting changes to the wettability of the dispersion as measured by CAG.


The results demonstrated that presence of TMC significantly modified the physical properties of liposomes. Such systems might have a potential use for mucosal delivery (e.g. nasal route of administration).

Keywords: Large unilamellar vesicles, Trimethylchitosan, Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS), ζ-potential, Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), Contact Angle Goniometry (CAG).