The micelle structure of octenyl succinic anhydride modified ε-polylysine (M-EPL), an anti-microbial surfactant prepared from natural peptide ε-polylysine in aqueous solution has been studied using synchrotron small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). Our results revealed that M-EPLs formed spherical micelles with individual size of 24-26 Å in aqueous solution which could further aggregate to form a larger dimension with averaged radius of 268-308 Å. Furthermore, M-EPL micelle was able to encapsulate curcuminoids, a group of poorly-soluble bioactive compounds from turmeric with poor oral bioavailability, and improve their water solubility. Three loading methods, including solvent evaporation, dialysis, and high-speed homogenization were compared. The results indicated that the dialysis method generated the highest loading capacity and curcuminoids water solubility. The micelle encapsulation was confirmed as there were no free curcuminoid crystals detected in the differential scanning calorimetry analysis. It was also demonstrated that M-EPL encapsulation stabilized curcuminoids against hydrolysis at pH 7.4 and the encapsulated curcuminoids showed elevated cellular antioxidant activity compared with free curcuminoids. This work suggested that M-EPL could be used as new biopolymer micelles for delivering poorly soluble drugs/phytochemicals and improving their bioactivities.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science