This study was aimed at the preparation of curcumin-loaded alginate/pectin microparticles (beads) in order to enhance the pharmaceutical effect of curcumin as a drug for colon related diseases. For this purpose, three types of curcumin-loaded beads were prepared with different alginate/pectin ratios (100/0, 75/25 and 50/50) and studied in various experiments including the release of curcumin from beads and swelling of beads in buffer solutions of simulated gastric, intestinal, and colon fluids. The results of curcumin releasing experiments under conditions mimicking stomach to colon transit showed that the beads with higher content of pectin exhibit stronger curcumin entrapment, slower release rate, and lower swelling. Thus, 50/50 alginate/pectin composition has minimum release in the upper parts of gastrointestinal tract (stomach and intestine). However, when these beads reached colonic buffer medium, the curcumin release suddenly increased. Therefore, beads with 50/50 alginate/pectin compositions could be useful as a suitable carrier for curcumin delivery to colon. Moreover, the stability and chemical protection of curcumin encapsulated in these beads was confirmed by high performance liquid chromatography measurements after a period of six months.
curcumin delivery system pectin alginate, bead microparticles
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We would like to thank the Research Councils of Shiraz University of Medical Sciences (6733), University of Tehran, and the Iran National Science Foundation (INSF) for supporting this research.
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