Poly (DL-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) Nanoparticles with Entrapped trans-Cinnamaldehyde and Eugenol for Antimicrobial Delivery Applications



Abstract:  Eugenol and trans-cinnamaldehyde are natural compounds known to be highly effective antimicrobials; however, both are hydrophobic molecules, a limitation to their use within the food industry. The goal of this study was to synthesize spherical poly (DL-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) nanoparticles with entrapped eugenol and trans-cinnamaldehyde for future antimicrobial delivery applications. The emulsion evaporation method was used to form the nanoparticles in the presence of poly (vinyl alcohol) (PVA) as a surfactant. The inclusion of antimicrobial compounds into the PLGA nanoparticles was accomplished in the organic phase. Synthesis was followed by ultrafiltration (performed to eliminate the excess of PVA and antimicrobial compound) and freeze-drying. The nanoparticles were characterized by their shape, size, entrapment efficiency, and antimicrobial efficiency. The entrapment efficiency for eugenol and trans-cinnamaldehyde was approximately 98% and 92%, respectively. Controlled release experiments conducted in vitro at 37 °C and 100 rpm for 72 h showed an initial burst followed by a slower rate of release of the antimicrobial entrapped inside the PLGA matrix. All loaded nanoparticles formulations proved to be efficient in inhibiting growth of Salmonella spp. (Gram-negative bacterium) and Listeria spp. (Gram-positive bacterium) with concentrations ranging from 20 to 10 mg/mL. Results suggest that the application of these antimicrobial nanoparticles in food systems may be effective at inhibiting specific pathogens.

Practical Application:  Nanoencapsulation of lipophilic antimicrobial compounds has great potential for improving the effectiveness and efficiency of delivery in food systems. This study consisted of synthesizing PLGA nanoparticles with entrapped eugenol and trans-cinnamaldehyde. By characterizing these new delivery systems, one can understand the controlled-release mechanism and antimicrobial efficiency that provides a foundation that will enable food manufacturers to design smart food systems for future delivery applications, including packaging and processing, capable of ensuring food safety to consumers.