Nateglinide loaded alginate-chitosan beads were prepared by ionic gelation method for controlling the drug release by using various combinations of chitosan and Ca2+ as cation and alginate as anion. IR spectrometry, scanning electron microscopy, differential scanning calorimetry and X-ray powder diffractometry were used to investigate the physicochemical characteristics of the drug in the bead formulations. The calcium content in beads was determined by atomic absorption spectroscopy. The swelling ability of the beads in different media (pH 1.2, 4.5, 6.8) has been found to be dependent on the presence of polyelectrolyte complex of the beads and the pH of the media. The ability to release the Nateglinide was examined as a function of chitosan and calcium chloride content in the gelation medium. It is evident that the rate of drug release and its kinetics could be controlled by changing the chitosan and the calcium chloride concentrations. Calcium alginate beads released more than 95% of drug with in 8 h; whereas coated beads sustained the drug release and released only 75—80% of drug. The drug release mechanism analyzed indicates that the release follows either “anomalous transport” or “case-II transport”.
2008 The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan