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Chitosan-polyalkylenoxide-maleic acid polyelectrolyte complex:
By changing the alkyleneoxide chain composition, a series of polyelkylenoxide-maleic acid (PAOMA) copolymers can be synthesised with different characteristics (e.g., hydrophilic or hydrophobic, (Figure 11). PAOMA is an anionic polymer that was used to form polyelectrolyte complexes with chitosan in the form of films containing salicylic acid and phenol as model drugs and their drug release rates were evaluated. These films indicated pH dependent drug release behaviour and the hydrophobic PAOMA polymer also showed temperature sensitive drug release behavior.[2]

Figure 8: Chemical structure of polyalkylenoxide-maleic acid copolymer

It is therefore not surprising that polyelectrolyte complexes are gaining importance in modern pharmaceutical technologyAn extensive research is going on in the area of polyelectrolytes and polyelectrolyte complexes. It has been concluded that polyelectrolyte complexes combine unique physicochemical properties of different polymers with the advantage of retaining high biocompatibility..From the in vitrostudies conducted on chitosan-based polyelectrolyte complexes it is clear that they are valuable excipients with specific properties for efficient dosage form design, which may be valuable in the development of modified drug delivery systems. Polyelectrolytes may efficiently modify the release; improve the stability and character of the drug substances due to their capacity to entrap the drug at molecular level. Hence the polyelectrolyte complexes have great potential in the design of novel drug delivery systems.

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