Main content area

Electrospray-assisted encapsulation of caffeine in alginate microhydrogels

Nikoo, Alireza Mehregan, Kadkhodaee, Rassoul, Ghorani, Behrouz, Razzaq, Hussam, Tucker, Nick
International journal of biological macromolecules 2018 v.116 pp. 208-216
bioactive compounds, caffeine, calcium alginate, chitosan, consciousness, electrostatic interactions, human behavior, hydrophilicity, mathematical models, microencapsulation, microparticles, molecular weight, polymers
One of the major challenges with microencapsulation and delivery of low molecular weight bioactive compounds is their diffusional loss during storage and process conditions as well as under gastric conditions. In an attempt to slow down the release rate of core material, electrospray fabricated calcium alginate microhydrogels were coated with low molecular weight and high molecular weight chitosans. Caffeine as a hydrophilic model compound was used due to its several advantages on human behavior especially increasing consciousness. Mathematical modeling of the caffeine release by fitting the data with Korsmeyer-Peppas model showed that Fick's diffusion law could be the prevalent mechanism of the release. Electrostatic interaction between alginate and chitosan (particularly in the presence of 1% low molecular weight chitosan) provided an effective barrier against caffeine release and significantly reduced swelling of particles compared to control samples. The results of this study demonstrated that calcium alginate microhydrogels coated by chitosan could be used for encapsulation of low molecular compounds. However, more complementary research must be done in this field. In addition, electrospray, by producing monodisperse particles, would be as an alternative method for fabrication of microparticles based on natural polymers.