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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 3564060, 12 pages
Research Article

Thermosensitive Chitosan Hydrogels Containing Polymeric Microspheres for Vaginal Drug Delivery

1School of Pharmacy, Weifang Medical University, Weifang, Shandong 261031, China
2Life Science and Technology Department, Pharmaceutical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu 211198, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Wei-Fen Zhang

Received 22 May 2017; Revised 30 August 2017; Accepted 24 September 2017; Published 25 October 2017

Academic Editor: Viness Pillay

Copyright © 2017 Ting-Ting Yang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Thermosensitive hydrogels have increasingly received considerable attention for local drug delivery based on many advantages. However, burst release of drugs is becoming a critical challenge when the hydrogels are employed. Microspheres- (MS-) loaded thermosensitive hydrogels were thus fabricated to address this limitation. Employing an orthogonal design, the spray-dried operations of tenofovir (TFV)/Bletilla striata polysaccharide (BSP)/chitosan (CTS) MS were optimized according to the drug loading (DL). The physicochemical properties of the optimal MS (MS F) were characterized. Depending on the gelation temperature and gelating time, the optimal CTS-sodium alginate- (SA-) α,β-glycerophosphate (GP) (CTS-SA-GP) hydrogel was obtained. Observed by scanning electron microscope (SEM), TFV/BSP/CTS MS were successfully encapsulated in CTS-SA-GP. In vitro releasing demonstrated that MS F-CTS-SA-GP retained desirable in vitro sustained-release characteristics as a vaginal delivery system. Bioadhesion measurement showed that MS-CTS-SA-GP exhibited the highest mucoadhesive strength. Collectively, MS-CTS-SA-GP holds great promise for topical applications as a sustained-release vaginal drug delivery system.