The COVID-19 virus is spread by pulmonary droplets. Its high infectivity is caused by the high-affinity binding of the viral spike protein to the ACE2 receptors on the surface of respiratory epithelial cell membranes. The proper hydration of nasal mucosa plays an essential role in defense of bacterial and viral infections. Therefore, a nasal formulation, which can moisture the nasal mucosa and contains the ACE2 receptor inhibitor, can reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection. This article presents a systematic study of the preparation of chitosan hydrogels with dicarboxylic acids (malic and glutaric acid) and their detailed characterization (Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, determination of cross-linking efficiency, rheological studies, thermal analysis, and swelling kinetics). The results confirm that chemically cross-linked chitosan hydrogels can be synthesized using malic or glutaric acid without additives or catalysts. The adsorption capacity of hydrogels for three different ACE2 inhibitors, as APIs, has also been investigated. The API content of hydrogels and their mucoadhesive property can provide an excellent basis to use the hydrogels for the development of a nasal formulation in order to reduce the risk of SARS-CoV 2 infection.

Fuente: ACS Omega