Plant Protein-Based Nanoparticles and Their Biomedical Applications

  • Siavash Iravani
  • Ashutosh Kumar Shukla


Herbal medicines, plant products, and phytotherapeutics have been widely used all over the world since the ancient time. In phyto-formulation studies, researchers have attempted to develop nano-dosage forms, such as liposomes, proliposomes, solid lipid nanoparticles (NPs), nanoemulsion, and protein-based and lipid-based drug delivery systems. In this field, enhancement of solubility and bioavailability, protection from toxicity, enhancement of pharmacological activity, enhancement of stability, improving tissue macrophage distribution, sustained delivery, and protection from physical and chemical degradation are the important targets. Development of a biomimetic and bio-inspired approach to nanostructures is one of the major challenges for researchers. Plant protein-based NPs show many interesting advantages over other types of NP, as they are often nontoxic and biodegradable. Corn, wheat, and soybeans contain proteins that are readily available, biodegradable, and considerably less allergic in contrast to animal proteins such as bovine collagen. Development of bio-inspired materials and systems, adaptive materials, nanomaterials, hierarchically structured materials, three-dimensional composites, and materials compatible with ecological requirements is now drawing increasing attention. Bio-inspired selective multifunctional materials, with associated properties (such as separation, adsorption, catalysis, sensing, bio-sensing, imaging, multi-therapy), are likely to appear in the near future. In the recent years, green nanofabrication has been actively pursued to meet the demand for large quantities of highly purified, structurally well-defined, and precisely functionalized nanomaterials. Despite the progress made, considerable challenges exist that need to be addressed to derive the maximum benefits from these plant-based green nano-manufacturing systems. Here is an overview of the issues related to plant protein-based NPs and their potential biomedical applications for drug/vaccine/gene delivery and also their applicability in tissue engineering.


Plant protein-based NPs Zein Gliadin Legumin Vicilin Glycinin β-Conglycinin 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Siavash Iravani
    • 1
  • Ashutosh Kumar Shukla
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical SciencesIsfahan University of Medical SciencesIsfahanIran
  2. 2.Physics DepartmentEwing Christian CollegePrayagrajIndia

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