Encapsulation aims to protect fragile active molecules (e.g. therapeutic proteins, drugs,..) or living cells from external degradation conditions and offers at the same time their sustained local delivery, enhancing the bioavailability of encapsulated active compounds and life-span of cells. Thus, the encapsulation represents a highly attractive approach for food, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries. Biocompatible and biodegradable natural polymers such as polysaccharides appear as ideal candidates for the development of such encapsulation matrices. In this context, the goal of the FunCapsul project is to elaborate new functional matrices for encapsulation of cells (lactic acid bacteria) and proteins (growth factors) based on innovative natural polymers i.e. exopolysaccharides (EPS) synthesized by marine bacteria. A wide bacterial biodiversity ensures a large diversity of EPS displaying both innovative structural and functional, i.e. physico-chemical and biological features. In the first step, the screening of Ifremer marine bacteria collection will be performed in order to identify new strains able to produce EPS exhibiting particular chemical composition and structure. We are searching for the EPS endowed with both gelling and biological (e.g. glycosaminoglycan (GAG)-like) properties. These properties will mainly be provided by the presence of uronic acids, hexosamines and sulfate groups. The EPS selected at the end of the screening process will be tested for their capacity to gel in the presence of divalent cations. Indeed, physical gelation constitutes a mild method particularly well adapted for encapsulation of cells and proteins. The EPS displaying the best gelation properties will then be structured in micro-matrices using millifluidic method (capillary microfluidics). The EPS based micro-matrices will then be used to encapsulate one model specie of lactic acid bacteria, namely Carnobacterium divergens, showing specific activities towards pathogenic bacteria and in particular, Listeria monocytogenes and two signaling proteins, namely Transforming Growth Factor (TGF-ß) and Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP). Indeed, these two growth factors play a crucial role in the repair of cartilage and bone, respectively. The EPS based micro-matrices will provide a particular microenvironment enhancing protection of encapsulated bacteria and growth factors from external conditions and thus increasing the span-life of cells and bioactivity of proteins. In addition, the release of growth factors will be tuned by the physical interactions between the proteins and the EPS matrix displaying GAG-mimetic properties. The FunCapsul project will additionally allow to determine the structure of the EPS selected for micro-matrices elaboration and to study the structure-biological property relationship. Novel functional matrices obtained at the end of the project will find applications in food and regenerative medicine field, however their versatility clearly opens applications in other domains such as cosmetics and pharmaceutics.
Madame Agata Zykwinska (Ecosystèmes Microbiens et Molécules Marines pour les Biotechnologies)
The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.
IFREMER Ecosystèmes Microbiens et Molécules Marines pour les Biotechnologies
Help of the ANR 214,837 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: December 2017 - 36 Months