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Encapsulation of Biological and Chemical Agents for Plant Nutrition and Protection: Chitosan/Alginate Microcapsules Loaded with Copper Cations and Trichoderma viride

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journal contribution
posted on 07.10.2016, 00:00 by Marko Vinceković, Nenad Jalšenjak, Snježana Topolovec-Pintarić, Edyta Đermić, Marija Bujan, Slaven Jurić
Novel chitosan/alginate microcapsules simultaneously loaded with copper cations and Trichoderma viride have been prepared and characterized. Information about the intermolecular interactions between biopolymers and bioactive agents was obtained by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Encapsulation of T. viride spores and the presence of copper cations in the same compartment does not inhibit their activity. Microcapsule loading capacity and efficiency as well as swelling behavior and release depend on both the size of the microcapsule and bioactive agents. The in vitro copper cation release profile was fitted to a Korsmeyer–Peppas empirical model. Fickian diffusion was found to be a rate-controlling mechanism of release from smaller microcapsules, whereas anomalous transport kinetics controlled release from larger microcapsules. The T. viride spore release profile exhibited exponential release over the initial lag time. The results obtained opened perspectives for the future use of chitosan/alginate microcapsules simultaneously loaded with biological and chemical agents in plant nutrition and protection.