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Sci Rep. 2017 Jun 5;7(1):2750. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-02867-x.

Synthetic surfactant- and cross-linker-free preparation of highly stable lipid-polymer hybrid nanoparticles as potential oral delivery vehicles.

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Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, 06269, USA.
School of Food Science and Engineering, Wuhan Polytechnic University, Wuhan, Hubei, 430023, China.
Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, 06269, USA.


The toxicity associated with concentrated synthetic surfactants and the poor stability at gastrointestinal condition are two major constraints for practical applications of solid lipid nanoparticles (SLN) as oral delivery vehicles. In this study, a synthetic surfactant-free and cross-linker-free method was developed to fabricate effective, safe, and ultra-stable lipid-polymer hybrid nanoparticles (LPN). Bovine serum albumin (BSA) and dextran varying in molecular weights were first conjugated through Maillard reaction and the conjugates were exploited to emulsify solid lipid by a solvent diffusion and sonication method. The multilayer structure was formed by self-assembly of BSA-dextran micelles to envelope solid lipid via a pH- and heating-induced facile process with simultaneous surface deposition of pectin. The efficiency of different BSA-dextran conjugates was systematically studied to prepare LPN with the smallest size, the most homogeneous distribution and the greatest stability. The molecular interactions were characterized by Fourier transform infrared and fluorescence spectroscopies. Both nano spray drying and freeze-drying methods were tested to produce spherical and uniform pectin-coated LPN powders that were able to re-assemble nanoscale structure when redispersed in water. The results demonstrated the promise of a synthetic surfactant- and cross-linker-free technique to prepare highly stable pectin-coated LPN from all natural biomaterials as potential oral delivery vehicles.

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