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Stable Nanoparticles Prepared by Heating Electrostatic Complexes of Whey Protein Isolate–Dextran Conjugate and Chondroitin Sulfate

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journal contribution
posted on 29.04.2015, 00:00 by Qingyuan Dai, Xiuling Zhu, Shabbar Abbas, Eric Karangwa, Xiaoming Zhang, Shuqin Xia, Biao Feng, Chengsheng Jia
A simple and green method was developed for preparing the stable biopolymer nanoparticles with pH and salt resistance. The method involved the macromolecular crowding Maillard process and heat-induced gelation process. The conjugates of whey protein isolate (WPI) and dextran were produced by Maillard reaction. The nanoparticles were fabricated by heating electrostatic complexes of WPI–dextran conjugate and chondroitin sulfate (ChS) above the denaturation temperature and near the isoelectric point of WPI. Then, the nanoparticles were characterized by spectrophotometry, dynamic laser scattering, zeta potential, transmission electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy. Results showed that the nanoparticles were stable in the pH range from 1.0 to 8.0 and in the presence of high salt concentration of 200 mM NaCl. WPI–dextran conjugate, WPI, and ChS were assembled into the nanoparticles with dextran conjugated to WPI/ChS shell and WPI/ChS core. The repulsive steric interactions, from both dextran covalently conjugated to WPI and ChS electrostatically interacted with WPI, were the major formation mechanism of the stable nanoparticles. As a nutrient model, lutein could be effectively encapsulated into the nanoparticles. Additionally, the nanoparticles exhibited a spherical shape and homogeneous size distribution regardless of lutein loading. The results suggested that the stable nanoparticles from proteins and strong polyelectrolyte polysaccharides would be used as a promising target delivery system for hydrophobic nutrients and drugs at physiological pH and salt conditions.