Chitosan – Rosmarinic acid conjugates with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and photoprotective properties

Rosmarinic acid is an attractive candidate for skin applications because of its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and photoprotective functions, however, its poor bioavailability hampers its therapeutic outcome. In this context, synthesis of polymer conjugates is an alternative to enlarge its applications. This work describes the synthesis of novel water-soluble chitosan – rosmarinic acid conjugates (CSRA) that have great potential for skin applications. Chitosan was functionalized with different contents of rosmarinic acid as confirmed by ATR-FTIR, 1H NMR and UV spectroscopies. CSRA conjugates presented three-fold radical scavenger capacity compared to the free phenolic compound. Films were prepared by solvent-casting procedure and the biological activity of the lixiviates was studied in vitro. Results revealed that lixiviates reduced activation of inflamed macrophages, improved antibacterial capacity against E. coli with respect to native chitosan and free rosmarinic acid, and also attenuated UVB-induced cellular damage and reactive oxygen species production in fibroblasts and keratinocytes.

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Huerta-Madroñal, M., Caro-León, J., Espinosa-Cano, E., Aguilar, M. R. & Vázquez-Lasa, B. Chitosan – Rosmarinic acid conjugates with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and photoprotective properties. Carbohydrate Polymers 118619 (2021) http://doi.org/10.1016/j.carbpol.2021.118619.
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