The role of porous nanostructure in controlling lipase-mediated digestion of lipid loaded into silica particles

Paul Joyce, Angel Tan, Catherine P. Whitby, Clive A. Prestidge

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49 Citations (Scopus)


The rate and extent of lipolysis, the breakdown of fat into molecules that can be absorbed into the bloodstream, depend on the interfacial composition and structure of lipid (fat) particles. A novel method for controlling the interfacial properties is to load the lipid into porous colloidal particles. We report on the role of pore nanostructure and surface coverage in controlling the digestion kinetics of medium-chain and long-chain triglycerides loaded into porous silica powders of different particle size, porosity, and hydrophobicity/hydrophilicity. An in vitro lipolysis model was used to measure digestion kinetics of lipid by pancreatic lipase, a digestive enzyme. The rate and extent of lipid digestion were significantly enhanced when a partial monolayer of lipid was loaded in porous hydrophilic silica particles compared to a submicrometer lipid-in-water emulsion or a coarse emulsion. The inhibitory effect of digestion products was clearly evident for digestion from a submicrometer emulsion and coarse emulsion. This effect was minimal, however, in the two silica-lipid systems. Lipase action was inhibited for lipid loaded in the hydrophobic silica and considered due to the orientation of lipase adsorption on the methylated silica surface. Thus, hydrophilic silica promotes enhanced digestion kinetics, whereas hydrophobic silica exerts an inhibitory effect on hydrolysis. Evaluation of digestion kinetics enabled the mechanism for enhanced rate of lipolysis in silica-lipid systems to be derived and detailed. These investigations provide valuable insights for the optimization of smart food microparticles and lipid-based drug delivery systems based on lipid excipients and porous nanoparticles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2779-2788
Number of pages10
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

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