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Triggered Cell Release from Shellac-Cells Composite Microcapsules

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 March 2013

Shwan A. Hamad
Department of Chemistry, University of Hull, Hull, HU6 7RX, UK
Simeon D. Stoyanov
Unilever R&D, Olivier van Noortlaan 120, 3133 AT Vlaardingen, the Netherlands.
Vesselin N. Paunov*
Department of Chemistry, University of Hull, Hull, HU6 7RX, UK
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We have fabricated novel shellac-cells composite microcapsules capable of pH-stimulus induced release of cells in a narrow pH range. The microcapsules were produced with yeast cells as a model for probiotics which were co-precipitated from an aqueous solution of ammonium shellac doped with pH-sensitive polyelectrolytes. The yeast cells in the composite shellac-cell microcapsules retained their viability even when treated with aqueous solutions of very low pH and subjected to shear stress. We studied the pH triggered release of cells from these microcapsules and measured their disintegration times. These microcapsules showed versatile responses ranging from slow release to explosive swelling at higher pH depending on the type and concentration of the polyelectrolyte integrated in the shellac microcapsules. We also observed growth-triggered release of cells from these microcapsules upon exposure to culture media. In both cases the cells retained their viability following their release from the microcapsules into the aqueous solution.

Copyright © Materials Research Society 2013 

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