The efficacy of treatments of oral ailments is often challenged by a low residence time of the conventional pharmaceutical formulations in the oral cavity, which could be improved by using bioadhesive formulations. This in vitro study investigated charged liposomes, both uncoated and coated through electrostatic deposition with polysaccharides (chitosan, alginate and pectin), as bioadhesive systems for the oral cavity. First, formulations that provided liposomes fully coated with polysaccharide were selected. Thereafter, the stability of both the uncoated and the polysaccharide-coated liposomes was investigated in artificial saliva simulating pH, ionic strength, and ionic content of natural saliva. Additionally, adsorption to hydroxyapatite (model for tooth enamel) was tested. The surface charge was of high importance for both the stability in salivary environment and bioadhesion. In artificial saliva, the negatively charged liposomes were the most stable, and the stability of the positively charged liposomes was improved through coating with a negatively charged polysaccharide. On the contrary, the positively charged liposomes were the most bioadhesive, although a moderate adsorption was recorded for the negatively charged liposomes. Based on the present results, the negatively charged liposomes seem to be the most promising formulations used as a tooth adhesive nanosystem and could as such provide improved treatment of tooth ailments.
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