Micro/Nanoencapsulation of Proteins Within Alginate/Chitosan Matrix by Spray Drying
Erdinc, Burak I.
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Currently, therapeutic proteins and peptides are delivered subcutaneously, as they are readily denatured in the acidic, protease rich environment of the stomach or gastrointestinal track and low bioavailability results from poor intestinal absorption through the paracellular route. Encapsulation of therapeutic peptides and proteins into polymeric micro- and nano- particle systems has been proposed as a possible strategy to overcome limitations to oral protein administration. Furthermore, it was shown that nanoparticles having diameters less than 5µm are able to be taken up by the M cells of Peyer’s patches found in intestinal mucosa . However, the current methodologies to produce particles within desired range involves organic solvents and several steps. In this study, spray drying was investigated as a microencapsulation alternative, as it offers the potential for single step operation, producing dry particles, with the potential for extending the microparticle size into the nano-range. The particles were produced by spray drying of alginate/protein solutions. The effect of spray drying operational parameters on particle properties such as recovery, residual activity and particle size was studied. Particle recovery depended on the inlet temperature of the drying air, whereas the particle size was affected by the feed rate and the alginate concentration of the feed solution. Increase in alginate:protein ratio increased protein stability during the process and shelf live experiments. Presence of 0.2 g trehalose/g particle increased the residual activity up to 90%. The resulting spherical micro and nanoparticles had smooth surfaces. Stable glycol-chitosan-ca-alginate particles were produced with single step operation. The resulting particles had mean diameter around 3.5μm and released 35% of the initial protein content to the simulated stomach environment within 2 hours. The protein distribution within the particle was studied by confocal laser scanning microscope with florescent labeled protein. The image showed protein deposition toward the surface of the particles. Total drying time and Peclet number was calculated for the particles and found to be 8.5 ms and 240, which indicates that particle formation was governed mainly by convection, which resulted in a hollow central region and protein distribution toward the particle surface. This study shows that stable alginate particles containing proteins can be produced in a single step by spray drying, where the particles had a mean size lower than the critical diameter necessary to be orally absorbed by M cell’s of the Peyer’s patches in the gastrointestinal tract and thus can be considered as a promising technology for oral peptide and protein delivery.