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Bioinspired capsules based on nanocellulose, xyloglucan and pectin – The influence of capsule wall composition on permeability properties

Publication date:

15 March 2018


Source:Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 69

Author(s): T. Paulraj, A.V. Riazanova, A.J. Svagan

Materials based on renewable biopolymers, selective permeability and stimuli-responsive release/loading properties play an important role in biomedical applications. Here, in order to mimic the plant primary cell-wall, microcapsules have been fabricated using cell wall polysaccharides, namely pectin, xyloglucan and cellulose nanofibers. For the first time, a large amount of xyloglucan was successfully included in such capsules. These capsules demonstrated stimuli-responsive (ON/OFF) permeability and biocompatibility. The live cell staining revealed that the microcapsules’ surface enhanced cell growth and also the non-toxic nature of the microcapsules. In water, the microcapsules were completely and partially permeable to fluorescent dextrans with an average molecular weight of 70 kDa (hydrodynamic diameter of ca. 12 nm) and 2000 kDa (ca. 54 nm), respectively. On the other hand, the permeability dropped quickly when the capsules were exposed to 250 mM NaCl solution, trapping a fraction of the 70 kDa dextrans in the capsule interior. The decrease in permeability was a direct consequence of the capsule-wall composition, i.e. the presence of xyloglucan and a low amount of charged molecules such as pectin. The low permeability of capsules in saline conditions (and in a model biological medium), combined with a capsule wall that is made from dietary fibers only, potentially enables their use in biological applications, such as colon targeted delivery in the gastro-intestinal tract. Statement of Significance For the first time, microcapsules have been prepared that possess capsule walls that mimic the primary cell wall found in natural plant cells. The capsules were assembled using pectin, xyloglucan and cellulose in the form of cellulose nanofibers. The capsules demonstrated stimuli-responsive (ON/OFF) permeability and biocompatibility. The low permeability of capsules in saline conditions (and in a model biological medium), combined with a capsule wall that is made from dietary fibers only, potentially enables their use in biological applications, such as colon targeted delivery in the gastro-intestinal tract. Such model plant cell capsules might also further improve the understanding for the digestion and release of nutrients from natural plant cells found in vegetables and fruits.
Graphical abstract




Authors:   Author(s): T. Paulraj, A.V. Riazanova, A.J. Svagan
Journal:   Acta Biomaterialia
Volume:   69
Year:   2018
Pages:   196
DOI:   10.1016/j.actbio.2018.01.003
Publication date:   01-Apr-2018
Facts, background information, dossiers
  • microcapsules
  • water
  • vegetables
  • solution
  • nutrients
  • nanofibers
  • biocompatibility
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