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- PublicationNutraceutical formulation, characterisation, and in-vitro evaluation of methylselenocysteine and selenocystine using food derived chitosan: zein nanoparticlesSelenoamino acids (SeAAs) have been shown to possess antioxidant and anticancer properties. However, their bioaccessibility is low and they may be toxic above the recommended nutritional intake level, thus improved targeted oral delivery methods are desirable. In this work, the SeAAs, Methylselenocysteine (MSC) and selenocystine (SeCys2) were encapsulated into nanoparticles (NPs) using the mucoadhesive polymer chitosan (Cs), via ionotropic gelation with tripolyphosphate (TPP) and the NPs produced were then coated with zein (a maize derived prolamine rich protein). NPs with optimized physicochemical properties for oral delivery were obtained at a 6: 1 ratio of Cs:TPP, with a 1:0.75 mass ratio of Cs:zein coating (diameter ~260 nm, polydispersivity index ~0.2, zeta potential >30 mV). Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) analysis showed that spheroidal, well distributed particles were obtained. Encapsulation Efficiencies of 80.7% and 78.9% were achieved, respectively, for MSC and SeCys2 loaded NPs. Cytotoxicity studies of MSC loaded NPs showed no decrease in cellular viability in either Caco-2 (intestine) or HepG2 (liver) cells after 4 and 72 h exposures. For SeCys2 loaded NPs, although no cytotoxicity was observed in Caco-2 cells after 4 h, a significant reduction in cytotoxicity was observed, compared to pure SeCys2, across all test concentrations in HepG2 after 72 h exposure. Accelerated thermal stability testing of both loaded NPs indicated good stability under normal storage conditions. Lastly, after 6 h exposure to simulated gastrointestinal tract environments, the sustained release profile of the formulation showed that 62 ± 8% and 69 ± 4% of MSC and SeCys2, had been released from the NPs respectively.
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