Chitosan: A Biocompatible Material for Oral and Intravenous Administrations

  • Shigehiro Hirano
  • Haruyoshi Seino
  • Yasutoshi Akiyama
  • Isao Nonaka


Chitosan is the N-deacetylated product of chitin {(1→4)-linked 2-acetamido-2-deoxy-β-D-glucan}, which is abundant in nature. (1) No abnormal symptom was observed with several animals when chitosan was orally administered at a dosage of 0.7–0.8 g/kg body weight/day for up to 239 days. (2) Apparent digestibility by rabbits was 28–38% for chitin and 39–79% for chitosan, and that both polymers were digested almost completely by hens and broilers. (3) No abnormal symptom was observed with rabbits when low-molecular-weight (LMW)-chitosan (MW about 3,000) or chitosan oligosaccharides (MW 304 – 1,162) were injected intravenously at a dosage of 4.5 mg/kg body weight/day for 7–11 days. (4) Hypocholesterolemic function was observed with chitosan administered orally but not with LMW-chitosan or oligosaccharides injected intravenously. These data strongly indicate that chitosan is usable as a novel carrier of drugs in the drug delivery system for oral and intravenous administration.


Drug Delivery System Basal Ration Apparent Digestibility Biomedical Polymer Chitosan Oligosaccharide 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shigehiro Hirano
    • 1
  • Haruyoshi Seino
    • 1
  • Yasutoshi Akiyama
    • 1
  • Isao Nonaka
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural BiochemistryTottori UniversityTottori 680Japan

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