Nano-based delivery systems refer to the utilization of nanotechnology to enhance the delivery and bioavailability of various nutrients and bioactive components. These systems are revolutionizing the way nutrients are absorbed and utilized in the body, especially in the context of food and supplements. 
Overview[edit | edit source]
The image depicts a variety of nano-based delivery systems, each designed to improve the stability, bioavailability, and controlled release of both hydrophilic and hydrophobic bioactive compounds:
- Liposomes: Phospholipid bilayer vesicles that encapsulate hydrophilic compounds.
- Micelles: Amphiphilic molecules forming a hydrophobic core and a hydrophilic shell for hydrophobic compounds.
- Reverse Micelles: Structures with a hydrophilic interior and hydrophobic exterior, for hydrophilic compounds in hydrophobic media.
- Emulsion Droplets: Liquid droplets dispersed within another liquid, carrying both hydrophobic and hydrophilic compounds.
- Micro Emulsions: Thermodynamically stable mixtures that solubilize hydrophobic compounds.
- Solid Lipid Particles: Particles made from solid lipids for hydrophobic compounds.
- Molecular Complex: Interactions between a drug molecule and a carrier to improve solubility.
- Biopolymers Nanoparticles: Biodegradable polymer particles for drug encapsulation.
- Hydrogel Particles: Hydrophilic polymer networks that encapsulate hydrophilic compounds.
- Filled Hydrogel Particles: Hydrogel particles with a core filled with another substance.
- Polyelectrolyte Complex: Formed by the interaction of charged polyelectrolytes, suitable for charged molecules like DNA or proteins.
These innovative systems are critical in pharmaceuticals and nutrition for enhancing therapeutic efficacy and nutritional value by improving solubility, protection from degradation, and controlled release profiles.
Nutrient Enhancers and Inhibitors[edit | edit source]
- Enhancers: Nutrient enhancers improve the absorption of specific nutrients. For instance, vitamin C acts as an enhancer for iron absorption and can boost its uptake by two to three folds.
- Inhibitors: On the contrary, nutrient inhibitors can hinder nutrient absorption. A prominent example is phytic acid, which reduces the bioavailability of minerals like calcium, zinc, and iron.
Bioavailability After Ingestion[edit | edit source]
Bioavailability is crucial for the efficacy of oral drugs or bioactive food components. This involves various stages:
The bioavailability (F) of bioactive components can be amplified with targeted delivery systems developed through nanotechnology. These systems can improve nutrient absorption, especially in the gastrointestinal tract.
Specific Nutrients and Nano-delivery[edit | edit source]
- Vitamin A: Nanotechnology can heighten the bioavailability of vitamin A. Research has shown enhanced bioavailability of carotenoids when consumed with nano-materials.
- Vitamin B12: Innovative transport systems using nanotechnology have shown to enhance the uptake efficacy of vitamin B12 over traditional means.
- Folic Acid: Encapsulation with certain nanoparticles, such as zein NPs, can double the bioavailability of folic acid.
- Iron: Solid lipid nanoparticles can increase iron bioavailability by over fourfold compared to commercial iron supplements.
Toxicity Concerns[edit | edit source]
While the potential of nanotechnology in nutrient delivery is vast, there are valid concerns about the toxicity of nanoparticles. Their small size and high reactivity can lead to unintended cellular effects, making it crucial to approach their use with caution.
Future Perspectives[edit | edit source]
The application of nanotechnology in nutrition and medicine holds immense promise, but it also comes with challenges. There are pressing concerns related to:
- Safety of nanoparticles
- Nano-labeling of food products
- Formulation of clear guidelines for the use of nanotechnology in the food industry.
Conclusion[edit | edit source]
Nanotechnology holds the potential to reshape the future of nutrient absorption and delivery. However, its successful and safe integration into nutrition and health requires rigorous research, clear guidelines, and a thorough understanding of its implications.
See Also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Arshad R et al.: Nanotechnology: A novel tool to enhance the bioavailability of micronutrients. Food Sci Nutr 2021. (PMID 34136200) [PubMed] [DOI] [Full text] Nanotechnology has revolutionized the field of food systems, diagnostics, therapeutics, pharmaceuticals, the agriculture sector, and nutraceuticals. Nanoparticles are playing important role in giving the solution to enhance bioavailability of oral delivery of bioactive compounds. This review revealed that nanoparticles can improve the bioavailability of micronutrients, for example, vitamin B12, vitamin A, folic acid, and iron. However, toxicity associated with nanoparticle-based delivery systems is still a major concern after ingestion of nano-based supplements. The mode of the mechanism of nanomaterial along with bioactive components in different physiological conditions of the human body is also a major gap in the field of nanoceuticals. In the future, more evidence-based clinical investigations are needed to confirm the exact approach to physiological changes in the human body.