Engineering Seminar Series 26_2013: Development of pH-responsive Gel-core Colloidosomes for Stabilization and Delivery of Insulin

Ms Lim Hui Peng, Chem Eng postgraduate student

Date: 2013-05-29
Time: 10:00 to 11:00
Venue: Engineering Meeting Room 1, 5-4-22


Diabetes mellitus, a global epidemic affecting more than 200 million people worldwide is a common endocrine disease that will affect 2.48 million Malaysians by the year 2030. Low compliance of diabetic patients towards the discomfort brought upon by the insulin administration through injections led to the need for development of an oral delivery system for insulin. An effective oral delivery system is essential to stabilize and deliver the encapsulated insulin through gastrointestinal tract which has pH variation from strongly acidic (pH 1) to weakly alkaline (pH 8); in order to the reach the targeted site of action, preferably the ileum of small intestine. Alginate, a natural biopolymer is a favoured candidate in developing such system due to its non-toxicity, biodegradability, and pH-responsiveness of the hydrogel structure. However, high porosity of the alginate hydrogel accelerated release of insulin in the acidic medium and decreased the insulin’s bioactivity level. This project aims to develop a pH-responsive gel-core colloidosomes for the purpose of stabilization and delivery of insulin. The pH-responsive gel-core colloidosomes will be a combination of three pH-sensitive materials; namely the alginate polymer which forms the gel-core co-encapsulated with calcium carbonate particles acting as basic salt to neutralize the beads’ internal and methacrylic acid-methyl methacrylate (MAA-MMA) particles that form shell of the colloidosomes. It is hypothesized that shrinking of alginate gel-core colloidosomes with MAA-MMA particles will be able to reduce infusion of acid into the core when exposed to acidic condition. It is further hypothesized that this colloidosomes structure co-encapsulated with basic salts will be able to neutralize the microenvironment inside the gel-core in order to stabilize the encapsulated insulin from acidic pH in the stomach.

About the Speaker

Lim Hui Peng graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (Agricultural and Biosystems) from University Putra Malaysia,Serdang in 2011. She is currently pursuing a PhD in the School of Engineering in Monash University, under the supervision of A/P Chan Eng Seng as main supervisor and Prof. Tey Beng Ti as co-supervisor.