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beta-casein micelles and nanocapsules in drug delivery

R.L. Khalfin, M. Bachar, D. Danino
Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, IL

Keywords: Beta-casein, micelles, drug delivery, investigation


β-casein, the main protein found in milk, is an amphiphilic molecule that forms micelles both above and below the pI. In the presented work we investigated the possible use of β-casein micelles as a vehicle for delivery of water-insoluble molecules, particularly drugs. As a natural food product this protein is easily degradable in the body and does not provoke an immune system response, making it a great candidate as a drug carrier. We employed two model drugs: celecoxib, an anti-inflammatory drug used for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, and budesonide for treatment of Crohn’s disease and asthma. DLS and small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) measurements show an increase in the micelle diameter upon loading with drug, and confirm no influence of drying on the diameter, as is also indicated by cryo-TEM . SAXS points to slight increase in the micelle density after drug loading, confirming mixed micelles formation. In conclusion, we have constructed a new β-casein based vehicle for drug delivery. We were able to load the β-casein micelles with a large amount of drug, and to further raise the concentration by drying and re-dissolving. The micelles remain stable and do not precipitate over time.
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