Macroporous chitosan beads used for the immobilization of an anti-inflammatory drug were prepared by the wet phase-inversion method. There are two stages of phase-inversion observed from the cast of chitosan droplet in tripolyphosphate (TPP) aqueous solution. The first stage of phase-inversion is dominated by liquid-liquid demixing and the morphology of the freeze-dried chitosan bead shows a bundle-like porous structure. The following stage of phase-inversion is attributed to the solid-liquid demixing and the morphology of the freeze-dried chitosan bead changes to an interconnected porous structure comprising particulates around the pores. The pore size and porosity of the bead can be varied by altering synthesis conditions, such as initial polymer concentration, and the pH value and concentration of the casting agent (TPP aqueous solution). Quaternary ammonium, and aliphatic and aromatic acyl groups were introduced into the porous chitosan beads to interact with an anti-inflammatory drug, indomethacin, through the electrostatic interaction and hydrophobic interaction. The results indicated that chemical modification of the porous chitosan beads have obvious effect on the adsorption of indomethacin.
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