The objective of our study was to prepare and characterize basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF)-loaded nanoparticles. Protein-loaded chitosan nanoparticles were obtained by ionotropic gelation process based on the interaction between chitosan and tripolyphosphate (TPP). The protein-loading capacity and encapsulation efficiency were 0.021% and 27.388%, respectively. The bFGF-loaded nanoparticles have a mean diameter of 424 nm, a narrow size distribution, spherical shape and positive surface charges. In vitro release showed that the extent of release was 68% at 24 hr. The protein integrity was investigated by SDS-PAGE analysis that confirmed protein integrity was not affected by the encapsulation procedure and release conditions. Copyright © Informa Healthcare USA, Inc.