John Garner

PLGA from PolySciTech used in development of Lycopene encapsulation system

Blog Post created by John Garner on Oct 14, 2019

Lycopene is a naturally occurring carotenoid which is found in red colored fruits and vegetables (notably tomatoes). This compound has strong antioxidant effects however it is delicate and easily damaged as well as poorly water soluble. Encapsulating lycopene in a biodegradable carrier may potentially aid in delivery of the molecule. Recently, researchers at Alabama A&M University used PLGA (AP041) from PolySciTech ( to create nanoparticles and tested these for their size and zeta potential properties. This research holds promise to improve the potential therapeutic application for lycopene.  Read more: Alam, Mohammad Anwar Ul, and Lamin S. Kassama. "Comparative Study of Lycopene Encapsulation Efficiency in Polycapprolactone Vs Poly Lactic Co-glycolic Acid." In 2019 ASABE Annual International Meeting, p. 1. American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, 2019.


“Lycopene contributes to the red-colored pigmentation of fruits and vegetables, and it is a fat-soluble carotenoid with antioxidant properties. Epidemiological studies have shown the significant health benefits associated to the consumption of lycopene rich foods, because of the anti-cancer properties. Degradative losses of lycopene during processing is a grave concern, hence encapsulation provides a remedy. The objective of this study is to evaluate the encapsulation efficiency of two biodegradable polymers (PLGA and PCL) as for controlled release of lycopene in the gastrointestinal (GI) system. The nanoparticles (NP) were synthesized by emulsion evaporation method and physicochemical properties was determined using a Dynamic Light Scattering spectroscopy. The results show the hydrodynamic diameter of the lycopene NP synthesized in PCL (200 mg) and 3500 mg surfactant and sonicated for 15 min was 79.23±0.85 nm (Lowest). PLGA (500 mg) and 500 mg surfactant with 15 min sonication was observed to have the lowest NP diameter (108.2±2.66 nm) among the others. Significant difference result found in PDI value (0.12±0.07) when PCL of 200mg dissolve in 3500 mg of surfactant. On the other hands the zeta potential values were much smaller in case of PCL NP ranged between -1.3±0.046 and -4.21±0.08 mV compared to the PLGA NP -72.36±2.17 to 107.66±3.15 mV in all experiments. Thus, NP synthesized with PCL and surfactant provide a smaller sized nano-solution than PLGA and surfactant. As the degradation rate for PCL is lower than PLGA so PCL can be considered as a potential biodegradable polymer than PLGA to encapsulate lycopene. Keywords:   PLGA, PCL, NP, nano-encapsulation, lycopene, encapsulation efficiency”