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Exploring the interaction between functional carbohydrate polymers and small-molecule active compounds

posted on 2021-04-30, 17:03 authored by Jingfan ChenJingfan Chen

Naturally occurring carbohydrates polymers and their functional derivatives play important roles in the research and technology development in the food, nutrition, and pharmaceutical areas. A major property of these polymeric materials is to associate, enable, enhance, and/or deliver small-molecule active compound such as phytochemicals, nutraceuticals, and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). The goal of this project was to synthesize and characterize phytoglycogen-based materials and study their structure-function relationships in association with selected small-molecule active compounds, including resveratrol, a food-related poorly water-soluble phenolic compound, griseofulvin, an insoluble API, and CCVJ (9-(2-carboxy-2-cyanovinyl) julolidine) a molecular rotor used as a structural probe of polymeric materials.

In this study, phytoglycogen (PG) was derivatives to phytoglycogen octenyl succinate (PG-OS), hydroxypropyl phytoglycogen (HPP), and octenylsuccinate hydroxypropyl phytoglycogen (OHPP). PG, HPP, and OHPP were evaluated for their efficacy in improving the solubility and Caco-2 permeation of resveratrol and griseofulvin, and using CCVJ, PG-OS was evaluated on its performance at oil-water interface in comparison with OSA-starch, acacia gum, and sodium caseinate. The results showed that: 1) PG, HPP, and OHPP substantially improved the soluble amount and Caco-2 monolayer permeation of resveratrol and griseofulvin, and anti-fungal efficacy of griseofulvin in the aqueous system were significantly enhanced; suggesting that the active ingredients were effective solubilized and released to become bioavailable, 2) among all PG-based biopolymers, OHPP showed superior performance in solubilizing resveratrol and griseofulvin, and 3) in the oil-water two-layer model system, PG-OS, OSA-starch, acacia gum, and sodium caseinate all affected the transferring of CCVJ from oil to aqueous phase, and the effect was monitored and interpreted by the emission spectra of molecular rotor; in the emulsion system, the emission peak wavelength of CCVJ was correlated with the amount of biopolymer adsorbed at the interface of emulsion droplets, and the molecular rotor-based method can be used to characterize the interfacial adsorption of biopolymer at the interface in oil-in-water emulsion.

This study provides information on the interactions between phytoglycogen-based biopolymers and poorly water-soluble active ingredients, and may potentially supports the study of new functional ingredients interaction with phytoglycogen-based biopolymers in aqueous system. Furthermore, this work allowed us to advance the use of molecular rotor as new analytical tool to study the physicochemical properties of biopolymer.


Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy


Food Science

Campus location

West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Dr. Yuan Yao

Additional Committee Member 2

Dr. Arun K. Bhunia

Additional Committee Member 3

Dr. Harm HogenEsch

Additional Committee Member 4

Dr. Owen Jones