Alginate based microcapsules for local probiotic delivery: Evaluation of bacterial entrapment, release, and growth

author: Janja Mirtič, Fakulteta za farmacijo, Univerza v Ljubljani
published: July 9, 2018,   recorded: May 2018,   views: 599


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The delivery of probiotics to different sites of action within the human body can help to prevent or even treat several diseases. The action of priobiotics is either based on the shaping of local microbiota or interacting with host cells resulting in the reversal of disease progression. The primary aim of this study was to develop microcapsules for delivery of probiotic bacteria that promote their prolonged survival and efficient revival and successful colonisation of the target surface. Encapsulation was based on alginate crosslinking with calcium ions and was performed by prilling the polymer dispersion supplemented with the probiotic using membrane vibration technology, followed by chitosan coating by polyelectrolyte complexation. The microcapsules were further dried by lyophilisation. Up to 2 ×10 10 CFU/g dry microcapsules of probiotic spore was encapsulated, achieving 100% of microcapsules with incorporated revivable probiotics. The chitosan coating improved their bioadhesion potential, but did not have negative impact on viability and growth kinetics of the bacteria. Alginate matrix was sufficient for bacteria entrapment, allowed the inward diffusion of nutrients and oxygen, and was simply disentangled to enable fast cell release. Surprisingly, already nanometer thin chitosan layer, represented a barrier, which enabled also sustained release of the probiotic bacteria. The collected results propose that the developed probiotic-loaded microcapsules are suitable for local delivery into periodontal pockets ( 1 ).

1. Mirtič J, Rijavec T, Zupančič Š, Zvonar Pobirk A, Lapanje A, Kristl J. Development of probiotic-loaded microcapsules for local delivery: physical properties, cell release and growth. Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. 2018, 121, 178 – 187,


Financing: Slovenian Research Agency through the P1-0189 research programme and the J1-6746 and J4-7640 projects.

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