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Soy Protein Nanoparticles as an Oral Delivery Vehicle for Nutraceuticals Open Access


Other title
vitamin B12
paracellular pathway
particle size
transcellular pathway
soy protein isolate
surface charge
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Jing, Zhang
Supervisor and department
Lingyun Chen (Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science)
Examining committee member and department
Michael Gänzle (Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science)
Feral Temelli (Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science)
Qingrong Huang (Department of Food Science)
Catherine Field (Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science)
Muriel Subirade (Département des Sciences des aliments et de nutrition)
Thavaratnam Vasanthan (Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science)
Department of Agricultural, Food, and Nutritional Science
Food Science and Technology
Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
The objective of this research was to explore the feasibility of using SPI nanoparticles to improve the absorption of vitamin B12 (VB12) using in-vitro and ex-vivo models. The molecular interactions between soy proteins and VB12 were firstly studied and the results revealed that VB12 was bound to the interior of three-dimensional protein network mainly via hydrophobic interactions to form soy proteins-VB12 complexes. VB12-loaded SPI nanoparticles with different particle size (30, 100 and 180 nm) and surface charge (-17, 22 and -40 mV) were obtained using a cold-gelation method by adjusting preparation conditions and applying surface coating with chitosan and sodium alginate. SPI nanoparticles exhibited uniform size distribution and spherical shape. SPI nanoencapsulation led to a slower VB12 release in simulated gastric and intestinal fluids. Surface coating retarded the release of VB12 from SPI nanoparticles. All the nanoparticles showed a low cytotoxicity and high cellular uptake efficiency in Caco-2 cells. Cellular uptake of nanoparticles was dependent on energy, particle concentration and incubation temperature, suggesting the active endocytosis pathways. The transport efficiency of VB12 across Caco-2 cell monolayers was significantly increased after nanoencapsulation, up to 3 times. 30 nm SPI nanoparticles demonstrated the highest VB12 transport efficiency compared with larger-sized and surface modified ones. The transcytosis of SPI nanoparticles (30-180 nm) was predominantly via clathrin-mediated and macropinocytosis pathways. In addition, the caveolae-mediated transcytosis pathway was partially involved in the transport of 30 nm SPI nanoparticles. The transcytosis of chitosan modified SPI particles was involved in the clathrin-/caveolae-independent pathway, while that of alginate/chitosan modified nanoparticles was through the clathrin-/caveolae-mediated and macropinocytosis pathways. In addition to the transcellular pathways, all the nanoparticles could facilitate the paracellular transport of VB12 via tight junctions. Since 30 nm SPI nanoparticles showed the optimized VB12 transport efficiency, which were further applied on the ex vivo Ussing chamber test. The results indicated that 30 nm SPI nanoparticles enhanced the intestinal absorption of VB12, up to 4 times. The findings in this study suggested that SPI nanoparticles could be a promising oral carrier for VB12, which is recommended for further study via in vivo tests in the future.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
Zhang, J., Liang, L., Tian, Z., Chen, L., & Subirade, M. (2012). Preparation and in Vitro Evaluation of Calcium-Induced Soy Protein Isolate Nanoparticles and Their Formation Mechanism Study. Food Chemistry, 133(2), 390-399.Zhang, J., Tian, Z., Liang, L., Subirade, M., & Chen, L. Y. (2013). Binding Interactions of β-Conglycinin and Glycinin with Vitamin B12. The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 2013, 117(45), 14018-14028.

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