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Sporopollenin microcapsules for microencapsulation of living cells

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 April 2013

Shwan A. Hamad
Surfactant & Colloid Group, Department of Chemistry, University of Hull, Hull, HU6 7RX, UK.
Amro K.F. Dyab
Surfactant & Colloid Group, Department of Chemistry, University of Hull, Hull, HU6 7RX, UK. Surfactant Research Chair, Chemistry Department, College of Science, King Saud University, P.O.Box - 2455, Riyadh - 11451, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Simeon D. Stoyanov
Unilever Foods and Health Research Institute, Olivier van Noortlaan 120, 3133 AT Vlaardingen, The Netherlands.
Vesselin N. Paunov*
Surfactant & Colloid Group, Department of Chemistry, University of Hull, Hull, HU6 7RX, UK.
*Email:, Phone : +44 (0) 1482 465660, Fax : +44 (0) 1482 466410.
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We used sporopollenin prepared from Lycopodium Clavatum to encapsulate living yeast cells as a model for probiotics. The microencapsulation of cells was achieved by using the trilite scars of the sporopollenin microcapsules which can open up by compressing the sporopollenin into a pellet. Such compressed pellets were exposed to an aqueous suspension of yeast cells in the presence of a biocompatible surface active agent which allowed living cells to be loaded inside the sporopollenin particles by the influx of liquid to the sporopollenin interior as the deformed microcapsules re-inflated to their original state. We demonstrated that the cells viability and biological activity is preserved after the microencapsulation in the sporopollenin. Such microencapsulation technology could find application in preserving cells from mechanical stress and aggressive environments which can be used in protection of probiotics in food formulations.

Copyright © Materials Research Society 2013

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