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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 928728, 6 pages
Research Article

Preparation and Characterization of Zein and Zein-Chitosan Microspheres with Great Prospective of Application in Controlled Drug Release

Grupo de Materiais Poliméricos e Compósitos (GMPC), Departamento de Química, Universidade Estadual de Maringá (UEM), Avenue Colombo, 5790, Maringá, 87020-900, Paraná, Brazil

Received 2 June 2010; Revised 26 July 2010; Accepted 6 September 2010

Academic Editor: Libo Wu

Copyright © 2011 Vinícius Müller 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.


Biomaterials applied as carriers for controlled drug delivery offer many advantages over the conventional systems. Among them, the increase of treatment effectiveness and also a significant reduction of toxicity, due to their biodegradability property, are some special features. In this work, microspheres based on the protein Zein (ZN) and ZN associated to the natural polymer Chitosan (CHI) were prepared and characterized. The microspheres of ZN and ZN/CHI were characterized by FT-IR spectroscopy and thermal analysis, and the morphology was analyzed by SEM images. The results confirmed the incorporation of CHI within the ZN-based microspheres. The morphological analysis showed that the CHI added increased the microspheres porosity when compared to the ZN microspheres. The chemical and physical characterization and the morphological analysis allow inferring that ZN/CHI microspheres are good candidates to act as a carrier for controlled drug release.