Electrospun fish protein fibers as a biopolymer-based carrier – implications for oral protein delivery

Karen Boutrup Stephansen, María García-Díaz, Flemming Jessen, Ioannis S. Chronakis, Hanne Mørck Nielsen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Purpose: Protein-based electrospun fibers have emerged as novel nanostructured materials for tissue engineering and drug delivery due to their unique structural characteristics, biocompatibility and biodegradability. The aim of this study was to explore the use of electrospun fibers based on fish sarcoplasmic proteins as an oral delivery platform for biopharmaceuticals, using insulin as a model protein. Methods: Fish sarcoplasmic proteins (FSP) were isolated from fresh cod and electrospun into nanomicrofibers using insulin as a model payload. The morphology of FSP fibers was characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and the conformational stability of insulin was confirmed by circular dichroism (CD). The in vitro release and enzymatic degradation of encapsulated insulin was measured in different buffers and quantified using RP-HPLC. The permeability of released insulin across differentiated Caco-2 cell monolayers was followed by RP-HPLC and ELISA, and the transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) was measured before and after the experiment. Cell viability was assessed by the MTS/PMS assay. Results: Insulin was encapsulated in the electrospun FSP fibers with high efficiency, high loading and without any effect on fiber morphology. Release of insulin in vitro was 75% after 3 h in simulated intestinal fluid. The secondary structure of insulin was preserved after release, and insulin functionality was confirmed by ELISA. Insulin permeability across Caco-2 cell monolayers was significantly enhanced when administered encapsulated in FSP fibers. The TEER was decreased after 4 h incubation, and no negative effect on cell viability was observed at any time. Conclusion: In this work we present electrospun FSP fibers as a novel oral drug delivery system for biopharmaceuticals. The electrospinning process did not affect the functionality of the encapsulated insulin and it provided controlled release kinetics. The epithelial permeability enhancing effect and biocompatibility of the FSP fibers provide evidence for further investigating protein-based electrospun nanofibers for delivery of proteins and peptides.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAbstract Book - DTU Sustain Conference 2014
Number of pages1
Place of PublicationKgs. Lyngby
PublisherTechnical University of Denmark
Publication date2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventDTU Sustain Conference 2014 - Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark
Duration: 17 Dec 201417 Dec 2014


ConferenceDTU Sustain Conference 2014
LocationTechnical University of Denmark
Internet address


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