The overall aim of the present paper was to develop fluoride loaded nanoparticles based on the biopolymers chitosan, pectin, and alginate, for use in dental delivery. First, the preparation of nanoparticles in the presence of sodium fluoride (NaF) as the active ingredient by ionic gelation was investigated followed by an evaluation of their drug entrapment and release properties. Chitosan formed stable, spherical, and monodisperse nanoparticles in the presence of NaF and tripolyphoshate as the crosslinker, whereas alginate and pectin were not able to form any definite nanostructures in similar conditions. The fluoride loading capacity was found to be 33–113 ppm, and the entrapment efficiency 3.6–6.2% for chitosan nanoparticles prepared in 0.2–0.4% (w/w) NaF, respectively. A steady increase in the fluoride release was observed for chitosan nanoparticles prepared in 0.2% NaF both in pH 5 and 7 until it reached a maximum at time point 4 h and maintained at this level for at least 24 h. Similar profiles were observed for formulations prepared in 0.4% NaF; however the fluoride was released at a higher level at pH 5. The low concentration, but continuous delivery of fluoride from the chitosan nanoparticles, with possible expedited release in acidic environment, makes these formulations highly promising as dental delivery systems in the protection against caries development.
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