AAPS PharmSciTech

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 1020–1028 | Cite as

Evaluation of Streptococcus thermophilus IFFI 6038 Microcapsules Prepared Using an Ultra-fine Particle Processing System

  • Huanbin Zhou
  • Shunyi Li
  • Yao Chen
  • Qian Zhang
  • Xuequn Bai
  • Chune Zhu
  • Hu Liu
  • Lili Wang
  • Chuanyu Wu
  • Xin Pan
  • Chuanbin Wu
Research Article


Microencapsulation technology has the potential to protect probiotics and to deliver them to the gut, and extrusion is one of the most commonly used methods. However, the rather large diameters of 1~5 mm produced tend to cause oral grittiness and result in low compliance. In this article, Streptococcus thermophilus IFFI 6038 (IFFI 6038) microcapsules were prepared using an ultra-fine particle processing system (UPPS) previously developed by this research group. IFFI 6038 suspension was pumped by a peristaltic pump to the feeding inlet nozzle and then dispersed into micro-droplets by a rotating disk, followed by solidification. Trehalose (16%) was used as a cryoprotectant to protect IFFI 6038 from damage by lyophilization used in the process. Alginate (3%) resulted in IFFI 6038 microcapsules with a median particle diameter (d 50) of 29.32 ± 0.12 μm and a span value of 1.00 ± 0.02, indicating uniform particle size distribution. To evaluate the potential of microencapsulation in protecting IFFI 6038 from the gastric conditions, the viable counts of IFFI 6038 following incubation of IFFI 6038 microcapsules in simulated gastric juices for 120 min were determined and compared with those of free IFFI 6038. The stability of microencapsulated IFFI 6038 upon storage for 3 months at 4°C and 25°C, respectively, was also determined. The results showed that microcapsules prepared by UPPS protected IFFI 6038 from gastric conditions. The results from a rat diarrhea model showed that microcapsules prepared by the UPPS method were able to effectively improve the diarrhea conditions in rats.


Streptococcus thermophilus probiotics cryoprotectants diarrhea microencapsulation ultra-fine particle processing system 



The authors appreciate the financial support from the Natural Science Fund Project of Guangdong Province (Grant No. 2016A030312013), the Science and Technology Plan Projects of Guangdong Province (Grant No. 2015B020232010), and Public Research Platform for Production Technology of Novel Pharmaceutical Formulations, Science and Technology Foundation Guangzhou (201509030006). Project was also funded by China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (No.2016M602442) and Innovative Scientific Research Team Introducing Project of Zhongshan Municipal Government (2015-224).

Compliance with ethical standards

All procedures were in accordance with National Institute of Health and Nutrition Guidelines for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and approved by the Ethical Committee on Animal Experimentation at Sun Yat-sen University.


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Copyright information

© American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Huanbin Zhou
    • 1
  • Shunyi Li
    • 1
  • Yao Chen
    • 1
  • Qian Zhang
    • 1
  • Xuequn Bai
    • 1
  • Chune Zhu
    • 2
  • Hu Liu
    • 3
  • Lili Wang
    • 3
  • Chuanyu Wu
    • 4
  • Xin Pan
    • 1
  • Chuanbin Wu
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Pharmaceutical SciencesSun Yat-Sen UniversityGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Institute for Biomedical and Pharmaceutical SciencesGuangdong University of TechnologyGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.School of PharmacyMemorial University of NewfoundlandSt. John’sCanada
  4. 4.Department of Chemical and Process EngineeringUniversity of SurreySurreyUK

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