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Flash NanoPrecipitation (FNP) is a rapid method for encapsulating hydrophobic materials in polymer nanoparticles with high loading capacity. Encapsulating biologics such as proteins remains a challenge due to their low hydrophobicity (logP < 6) and current methods require multiple processing steps. In this work, we report rapid, single-step protein encapsulation via FNP using bovine serum albumin (BSA) as a model protein. Nanoparticle formation involves complexation and precipitation of protein with tannic acid and stabilization with a cationic polyelectrolyte. Nanoparticle self-assembly is driven by hydrogen bonding and electrostatic interactions. Using this approach, high encapsulation efficiency (up to ~80%) of protein can be achieved. The resulting nanoparticles are stable at physiological pH and ionic strength. Overall, FNP is a rapid, efficient platform for encapsulating proteins for various applications.
© 2019 by the authors. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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VCU Chemical and Life Science Engineering Publications
Originally published at https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11091406.
Funded in part by the VCU Libraries Open Access Publishing Fund.