Bacterial polysaccharide levan as stabilizing, non-toxic and functional coating material for microelement-nanoparticles.

O. M. Bondarenko, A. Ivask, A. Kahru, H. Vija, T. Titma, M. Visnapuu, U. Joost, K. Pudova, S. Adamberg, Triinu Visnapuu, T. Alamae

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Levan, fructose-composed biopolymer of bacterial origin, has potential in biotechnology due to its prebiotic and immunostimulatory properties. In this study levan synthesized by levansucrase from Pseudomonas syringae was thoroughly characterized and used as multifunctional biocompatible coating material for microelement-nanoparticles (NPs) of selenium, iron and cobalt. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), hydrodynamic size measurements (DLS) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) showed the interaction of levan with NPs. Levan stabilized the dispersions of NPs, decreased their toxicity and had protective effect on human intestinal cells Caco-2. In addition, levan attached to cobalt NPs remained accessible as a substrate for the colon bacteria Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron. We suggest that the combination of levan and nutritionally important microelements in the form of NPs serves as a first step towards a novel "2 in 1" approach for food supplements to provide safe and efficient delivery of microelements for humans and support beneficial gut microbiota with nutritional oligosaccharides. All rights reserved, Elsevier.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCarbohydrate Polymers
Pages (from-to)710-720
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Safe-by-design
  • Food supplement
  • Co, Fe and Se nanomaterial
  • omaterial Caco-2 in vitro
  • Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron

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