Biodegradable nanofibrous scaffolds as smart delivery vehicles for amino acids
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The encapsulation of amino acids (AAs) and their correct preservation before they are ingested are challenging tasks. Nonpolar (l-alanine and l-phenylalanine), polar (l-cysteine hydrochloride and l-asparagine), and charged (l-lysine hydrochloride and l-aspartic acid) AAs were loaded into biodegradable and nontoxic poly(tetramethylene succinate) (PE44) nanofibers (NFs) with electrospinning. The loading of AAs considerably affected the morphology, topography, thermal properties, and wettability of the PE44 NFs. Furthermore, although the AAs crystallized in a phase separated from the polymeric matrix, the distribution of such crystals changed into PE44 NFs and depended on their chemical nature. Release assays in enzyme-free solutions provided evidence that very significant amounts of AAs were retained in the NFs after 7 days, whereas assays in the lipase-containing solution (because lipase performs essential roles in the digestion) showed almost complete release after a few hours. Lipase preferentially attacked the PE44 regions responsible for the retention of AAs in the biphasic system and favored the almost immediate release of the biomolecules. The results displayed in this study, combined with the biocompatibility, biodegradability, and potential use of the PE44 NFs as edible nonnutritional elements, suggest that the loaded PE44–AA NFs could be used to supply essential and conditional AAs.
CitationMaione, S., Pérez-Madrigal, M.M., del Valle, LJ., Diaz, A., Catiavela, C., Franco, M., Puiggali, J., Aleman, C. Biodegradable nanofibrous scaffolds as smart delivery vehicles for amino acids. "Journal of applied polymer science", 2017, vol. 134, núm. 22.