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ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #182902


item Liu, Linshu
item Kende, Meir
item Ruthel, Gordon
item Fishman, Marshall
item Hicks, Kevin

Submitted to: Drug Delivery
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/29/2005
Publication Date: 10/30/2006
Citation: Liu, L.S., Kende, M., Ruthel, G., Fishman, M.L., Hicks, K.B. 2006. Pectin/zein beads for potential colon-specific drug delivery: synthesis and in vitro evaluation. Drug Delivery, 13:417-423.

Interpretive Summary: About 500,000-800,000 dry tons of pectin are available annually from the by-products of the U.S. beet sugar and fruit juice industries; only 8 million pounds of them will be consumed by the U.S. food market. Finding new uses for this biodegradable and biocompatible polysaccharide is critical for U.S. agribusiness. In this study, composite pectin hydrogel beads were synthesized. The composite beads showed suitable physical properties and stability to be used as a drug delivery system for the treatment of colon diseases. Sugar beet and citrus fruits growers and processors will benefit from this research when this process is commercialized since it will create more demand for pectin and pectin-containing byproducts.

Technical Abstract: Novel complex hydrogel beads were prepared from two edible polymers: pectin, a carbohydrate from citrus fruits and zein, a protein from corn. The pectin/zein complex hydrogels did not swell in physiological environments, but hydrolyzed in the presence of pectinases. An in vitro study showed the capacity of the hydrogels to endure protease attack and residence time variation. The physical and biological properties of the new hydrogels were attributed to molecular entanglement of the two polymers. The pectin networks were stabilized by the bound zein molecules. In turn, the pectin networks shielded the bound zein from protease digestion.