Chitosan acts as a versatile carrier in polymeric nanoparticle (NP) for diverse drug administration routes. Delivery of antioxidants, such as quercetin (Qu) showcases potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties for reduction of various cardiovascular diseases, but low water solubility limits uptake. To address this, we developed a novel layer-by-layer zein/gamma-polyglutamic acid (γPGA)/low-molecular-weight chitosan (LC)/fucoidan NP for encapsulating Qu and targeting inflamed vessel endothelial cells. We used zein (Z) and γPGA (r) to encapsulate Qu (Qu-Zr NP) exhibited notably higher encapsulation efficiency compared to zein alone. Qu-Zr NP coated with LC (Qu-ZrLC2 NP) shows a lower particle size (193.2 ± 2.9 nm), and a higher zeta potential value (35.2 ± 0.4 mV) by zeta potential and transmission electron microscopy analysis. After coating Qu-ZrLC2 NP with fucoidan, Qu-ZrLC2Fa NP presented particle size (225.16 ± 0.92 nm), zeta potential (−25.66 ± 0.51 mV) and maintained antioxidant activity. Further analysis revealed that Qu-ZrLC2Fa NP were targeted and taken up by HUVEC cells and EA.hy926 endothelial cells. Notably, we observed Qu-ZrLC2Fa NP targeting zebrafish vessels and isoproterenol-induced inflamed vessels of rat. Our layer-by-layer formulated zein/γPGA/LC/fucoidan NP show promise as a targeted delivery system for water-insoluble drugs. Qu-ZrLC2Fa NP exhibit potential as an anti-inflammatory therapeutic for blood vessels.

Original languageEnglish
Article number131369
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules
Publication statusPublished - May 2024


  • chitosan
  • delivery
  • Fucoidan
  • gamma-polyglutamic acid
  • Inflammation blood vessels
  • nanoparticle
  • Quercetin
  • targeting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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