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The aim of this work was to assess the effect of formulation parameters of a mucoadhesive vaginal gel based on chitosan and lactic acid, and to highlight its release mechanisms. Two molecular weight chitosans were used to prepare gels with 2 lactic acid concentrations. Both chitosan molecular weight and lactic acid concentration had a significant and mutually dependent influence on mucoadhesion, measured on pig vaginal mucosa. Similarly, the lactate release profiles were found to be dependent on lactic acid content and polymer molecular weight.
One gel formulation based on the stoichiometric lactate to chitosan ratio was subjected to release test in media with 2 different counterions and increasing ionic strength. This test demonstrated that the lactate release is mainly due to ionic displacement.