Potential of mucoadhesive nanocapsules in drug release and toxicology in zebrafish
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Mucoadhesive polymeric nanocapsules have attracted interest of researchers from different fields from natural sciences because of their ability to interact with the mucosa and increase drug permeation. Anesthesia by immersion causes absorption through the skin and gills of fish, so it is important to evaluate the exposure of these organs to drug nanosystems. Benzocaine (BENZ) is one of the most popular anesthetic agents used in fish anesthesia, but it has drawbacks because of its low bioavailability, resulting in weak absorption after immersion. Here we describe method developed for preparing and characterizing chitosan-coated PLGA mucoadhesive nanoparticles containing BENZ (NPMAs) for zebrafish immersion anesthesia. We determined the lowest effective concentration, characterized the interaction of the mucoadhesive system with fish, measured the anesthetic efficacy, and evaluated possible toxic effects in embryos and adults exposed to the nanoformulations. This study opens perspectives for using nanoformulations prepared with BENZ in aquaculture, allowing reduction of dosage as well as promoting more effective anesthesia and improved interaction with the mucoadhesive system of fish.