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Gels 2017, 3(2), 14; doi:10.3390/gels3020014

Impact of Chitosan Molecular Weight and Attached Non-Interactive Chains on the Formation of α-Lactalbumin Nanogel Particles

Department of Food Science, Purdue University, 745 Agriculture Mall Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
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Academic Editor: Gaio Paradossi
Received: 28 February 2017 / Revised: 11 April 2017 / Accepted: 20 April 2017 / Published: 26 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro- and Nanogels)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1150 KB, uploaded 26 April 2017]   |  

Abstract

Thermal treatment of protein–polysaccharide complexes will form nanogel particles, wherein the polysaccharide controls nanogel formation by limiting protein aggregation. To determine the impact of the chitosan molecular weight and non-interactive chains on the formation of nanogels, mixtures of α-lactalbumin were prepared with selectively-hydrolyzed chitosan containing covalently-attached polyethylene glycol chains (PEG) and heated near the protein’s isoelectric point to induce formation of nanogels. Turbidity of heated mixtures indicated the formation of suspended aggregates, with greater values observed at higher pH, without attached PEG, and among samples with 8.9 kDa chitosan. Mixtures containing 113 kDa chitosan-PEG formed precipitating aggregates above pH 5, coinciding with a low-magnitude colloidal charge and average hydrodynamic radii > 400 nm. All other tested mixtures were stable to precipitation and possessed average hydrodynamic radii ~100 nm, with atomic force microscopy showing homogeneous distributions of spherical nanogel aggregates. Over all of the tested conditions, attached PEG led to no additional significant changes in the size or morphology of nanogels formed from the protein and chitosan. While PEG may have interfered with the interactions between protein and the 113 kDa chitosan, prompting greater aggregation and precipitation, PEG did not indicate any such interference for shorter chitosan chains. View Full-Text
Keywords: chitosan; α-lactalbumin; complex; copolymer; polysaccharide; protein; poly(ethylene glycol); nanogel chitosan; α-lactalbumin; complex; copolymer; polysaccharide; protein; poly(ethylene glycol); nanogel
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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

Du, J.; Cho, Y.-H.; Murphy, R.; Jones, O.G. Impact of Chitosan Molecular Weight and Attached Non-Interactive Chains on the Formation of α-Lactalbumin Nanogel Particles. Gels 2017, 3, 14.

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