Proteinaceous microspheres as a delivery system for carvacrol and thymol in antibacterial applications

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There is an urgent need for new materials with antimicrobial activity. Phenolic essential oil (EO) compounds with Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) status are attractive candidates, but they need suitable delivery systems to overcome specific drawbacks. Core-shell microspheres (MSs) of Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA) or Human Serum Albumin (HSA) encapsulating such active compounds in the oil phase are a delivery system that is novel in combination with phenolic EO compounds. Moreover, the EO compounds can also be assembled in an oil shell around a protein core by choosing an appropriate oil phase. A facile sonochemical fabrication method, which can be easily scaled-up, is developed with full characterization of the resulting EO-containing MSs by optical and electron microscopy. Bacterial growth experiments with E. coil including TEM of treated cells confirm antibacterial activity. In the case of carvacrol, the corresponding MSs are found to be both more bioactive and more stable than the free biocide.
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