Enhancement of the antioxidant activity and stability of β-carotene using amphiphilic chitosan/nucleic acid polyplexes

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β-carotene is a natural compound with significant antioxidant activity. However, its poor solubility in water and low stability reduce its potential application. Innovative polyplexes based on the combination of amphiphilic chitosan assembled with DNA have been developed using a solvent-free, simple and low-cost method with the aim to load, retain and enhance the antioxidant capability of β-carotene. The polyplexes, with dimension about 100 nm, and excellent stability, were able to hold up to 400 μg of β-carotene per mg of the carrier, with minimal loss till two weeks. The antioxidant activity was significantly enhanced after loading, as demonstrated using two well known methods. Cytotoxicity assay confirmed the not toxicity of the system. The results suggest the polyplexes as an excellent candidate to develop formulation able to preserve and enhance the peculiarities of compounds which are used mainly in food, cosmetic and pharmaceutic but with still some limitations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)773-780
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018



  • Antioxidants
  • Chitosan
  • Deoxyribonucleic acid
  • Polylactic acid
  • Polyplexes
  • β-carotene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology

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