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International Journal of Polymer Science
Volume 2009 (2009), Article ID 617184, 16 pages
Research Article

Genipin Cross-Linked Polymeric Alginate-Chitosan Microcapsules for Oral Delivery: In-Vitro Analysis

Biomedical Technology and Cell Therapy Research Laboratory, Department of Biomedical Engineering and Physiology, Artificial Cells and Organs Research Centre, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada H3A 2B4

Received 24 September 2008; Revised 9 March 2009; Accepted 29 April 2009

Academic Editor: Miriam Rafailovich

Copyright © 2009 Hongmei Chen 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.


We have previously reported the preparation of the genipin cross-linked alginate-chitosan (GCAC) microcapsules composed of an alginate core with a genipin cross-linked chitosan membrane. This paper is the further investigation on their structural and physical characteristics. Results showed that the GCAC microcapsules had a smooth and dense surface and a networked interior. Cross-linking by genipin substantially reduced swelling and physical disintegration of microcapsules induced by nongelling ions and calcium sequestrants. Strong resistance to mechanical shear forces and enzymatic degradation was observed. Furthermore, the GCAC membranes were permeable to bovine serum albumin and maintained a molecular weight cutoff at 70 KD, analogous to the widely studied alginate-chitosan, and alginate-poly-L-lysine-alginate microcapsules. The release features and the tolerance of the GCAC microcapsules in the stimulated gastrointestinal environment were also investigated. This GCAC microcapsule formulation offers significant potential as a delivery vehicle for many biomedical applications.