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Asian-Australas J Anim Sci. 2015 Mar;28(3):420-7. doi: 10.5713/ajas.14.0761.

Cellular Uptake and Cytotoxicity of β-Lactoglobulin Nanoparticles: The Effects of Particle Size and Surface Charge.

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Department of Food and Nutrition, Daegu University, Gyeongsan 712-714, Korea .
Division of Food and Nutrition, Chonnam National University, Gwangju 550-757, Korea .


It is necessary to understand the cellular uptake and cytotoxicity of food-grade delivery systems, such as β-lactoglobulin (β-lg) nanoparticles, for the application of bioactive compounds to functional foods. The objectives of this study were to investigate the relationships between the physicochemical properties of β-lg nanoparticles, such as particle size and zeta-potential value, and their cellular uptakes and cytotoxicity in Caco-2 cells. Physicochemical properties of β-lg nanoparticles were evaluated using particle size analyzer. Flow cytometry and confocal laser scanning microscopy were used to investigate cellular uptake and cytotoxicity of β-lg nanoparticles. The β-lg nanoparticles with various particle sizes (98 to 192 nm) and zeta-potential values (-14.8 to -17.6 mV) were successfully formed. A decrease in heating temperature from 70°C to 60°C resulted in a decrease in the particle size and an increase in the zeta-potential value of β-lg nanoparticles. Non-cytotoxicity was observed in Caco-2 cells treated with β-lg nanoparticles. There was an increase in cellular uptake of β-lg nanoparticles with a decrease in particle size and an increase in zeta-potential value. Cellular uptake β-lg nanoparticles was negatively correlated with particle size and positively correlated with zeta-potential value. Therefore, these results suggest that the particle size and zeta-potential value of β-lg nanoparticles play an important role in the cellular uptake. The β-lg nanoparticles can be used as a delivery system in foods due to its high cellular uptake and non-cytotoxicity.


Cellular Uptake; Cytotoxicity; Nanoparticle; Particle Size; Zeta-potential; β-Lactoglobulin

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