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    Entrapment of hydrophilic and hydrophobic molecules in beads prepared from isolated denatured whey protein
    The oral route of administration is by far the most convenient route, especially in the treatment of chronic conditions. However, many therapeutics present formulation difficulties which make them unsuitable for oral delivery. Recently, we synthesized a denatured whey protein isolate (dWPI) bead entrapped with insulin. Our present goal was to assess the suitability of this delivery system to the delivery of other potential molecules, both hydrophilic and hydrophobic. Beads of 1.2-1.5 mm in diameter were entrapped with four payloads representing a range of solubilities. The water-soluble payloads were sodium fluorescein (SF) and FITC dextran 4000 Da (FD4), while the hydrophobic ones were Fast Green and curcumin. Encapsulation efficiency (EE) was 73%, 84%, 70%, and 83% for SF, FD4, Fast Green, and curcumin-loaded beads, respectively. The corresponding loading capacity for each bead was 0.07%, 1.1%, 0.75%, and 1.1%, respectively. Each payload produced different release profiles in simulated gastric fluid (SGF) and simulated intestinal fluids (SIF). SF released steadily in both SGF and SIF. FD4 and curcumin release was not substantial in any buffers, while Fast Green release was low in SGF and high in SIF. The differences in release behaviour were likely due to the varying properties of the payloads. The effect of proteolysis on beads suggested that enzymatic degradation of the whey bead may promote payload release. The beads swelled rapidly in SGF compared to SIF, which likely contributed to the release from the beads, which was largely governed by solvent diffusion and polymer relaxation. Our results offer a systematic examination of the behaviour of hydrophilic and hydrophobic payloads in a dWPI delivery system. These beads may be further designed to orally deliver poorly permeable macromolecules and poorly soluble small molecules of pharmaceutical interest.
      30ScopusĀ© Citations 1