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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(12), 22438-22470; doi:10.3390/ijms151222438

Recent Advances in Food-Packing, Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Applications of Zein and Zein-Based Materials

1
Departmento de Engenharia de Materiais, Universidade Tecnológica Federal do Paraná (UTFPR-LD), Avenida dos Pioneiros, 3131, 86036-370 Londrina-PR, Brazil
2
Departmento de Química, Universidade Tecnológica Federal do Paraná (UTFPR-LD), Avenida dos Pioneiros, 3131, 86036-370 Londrina-PR, Brazil
3
Programa de Pós-graduação em Biotecnologia Aplicada à Agricultura, Universidade Paranaense (UNIPAR), 87502-210 Umuarama-PR, Brazil
4
Coordenação do Curso de Agronomia, Universidade Tecnológica Federal do Paraná (UTFPR-DV), Estrada para Boa Esperança, 85660-000 Dois Vizinhos-PR, Brazil
5
Departamento de Química, Universidade Estadual de Maringá (UEM), Av. Colombo, 5790, 87020-900 Maringá-PR, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 September 2014 / Revised: 27 October 2014 / Accepted: 7 November 2014 / Published: 4 December 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Materials)
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Abstract

Zein is a biodegradable and biocompatible material extracted from renewable resources; it comprises almost 80% of the whole protein content in corn. This review highlights and describes some zein and zein-based materials, focusing on biomedical applications. It was demonstrated in this review that the biodegradation and biocompatibility of zein are key parameters for its uses in the food-packing, biomedical and pharmaceutical fields. Furthermore, it was pointed out that the presence of hydrophilic-hydrophobic groups in zein chains is a very important aspect for obtaining material with different hydrophobicities by mixing with other moieties (polymeric or not), but also for obtaining derivatives with different properties. The physical and chemical characteristics and special structure (at the molecular, nano and micro scales) make zein molecules inherently superior to many other polymers from natural sources and synthetic ones. The film-forming property of zein and zein-based materials is important for several applications. The good electrospinnability of zein is important for producing zein and zein-based nanofibers for applications in tissue engineering and drug delivery. The use of zein’s hydrolysate peptides for reducing blood pressure is another important issue related to the application of derivatives of zein in the biomedical field. It is pointed out that the biodegradability and biocompatibility of zein and other inherent properties associated with zein’s structure allow a myriad of applications of such materials with great potential in the near future. View Full-Text
Keywords: zein; zein-based materials; biomedical application; drug delivery; zein hydrolysates applied for reducing blood pressure; colloidal particles of zein; food-packing zein; zein-based materials; biomedical application; drug delivery; zein hydrolysates applied for reducing blood pressure; colloidal particles of zein; food-packing
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Corradini, E.; Curti, P.S.; Meniqueti, A.B.; Martins, A.F.; Rubira, A.F.; Muniz, E.C. Recent Advances in Food-Packing, Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Applications of Zein and Zein-Based Materials. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15, 22438-22470.

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