Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Nutrition and Food Sciences

Document Type



The bioactive compound vitamin E is essential for human health. It has been reported to reduce the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and aging. One of the main concerns about the availability of vitamin E is the stability, or lack thereof, associated with the processing and storage of it. Degradation could occur when vitamin E is exposed to light, temperature or oxygen, which results in the loss of efficacy. Also, the application of vitamin E is limited because of its poor solubility in aqueous media. Among the tocopherols contained in the vitamin E family, α-tocopherol (α -TOC) has the highest biological activity. Thus, development of a suitable delivery system for α -TOC which overcomes problems of solubility and stability is meaningful. In the present study, development of a highly protective delivery system for α-tocopherol was conducted. The delivery system contemplated was based on soluble dietary fiber (SDF) based nanofibers. The first step in the development was fabrication of the nanofibers. They were fabricated by using electrospinning. Homogenous, smooth and bead-free nanofibers were electrospun from spinning solutions containing 3% SDF. SDF based nanofibers with an average diameter of 171.45 nm were observed. Then, α -TOC was encapsulated into SDF based nanofibers either by emulsion electrospinning or loading α -TOC into particles and subsequent incorporation into SDF nanofibers. High encapsulation efficiency and slow release of α-TOC in vitro were obtained for both loading forms of α-TOC in nanofibers. Stability tests of encapsulated α-TOC as a function of heat, UV irradiation and storage time were conducted. The SDF based nanofiber carrier protected α-TOC from degradation and maintained the most α-TOC during storage. The effect of SDF based nanofiber carried α-TOC on the lifespan of C. elegans was investigated. Increased lifespan was observed for both N2 and TK22 strains. Also, significant increases of pharyngeal pumping rates were exhibited by TK22. The results suggested SDF based nanofiber delivery system not only protected α-TOC from severe conditions, but also enhanced its bioavailability.



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Committee Chair

Sathivel, Subramaniam



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