Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Biology (MS)

Degree Level



Biological Sciences


Jackson Lay

Committee Member

Navam Hettiarachchy

Second Committee Member

David Paul

Third Committee Member

Zoraida Aguilar


Alginate, Lecithin, Nanoemulsion, Skin care


In this study, an environmentally friendly process was developed to create a novel biodegradable and biocompatible nanocarrier for vitamin E and vitamin D3 using natural materials. Calcium alginate lecithin microparticles (CALMPs) in a microemulsion were synthesized in the absence of organic solvents and without the use of expensive instrumentation.Calcium alginate lecithin nanoparticles (CALNPs) with and without the bioactives were produced from the microparticles (MPs) using a series of sonication and homogenization steps.All the resulting nanoparticles (NPs) when dispersed in water, exhibited a pH of 5.5, which is compatible with human skin. The (TEM) of the NPs showed that they were nearly spherical with average diameters as follows: CALNPs 1185 ± 307 nm, CALNPs-Vit E 97 ± 41 nm, and CALNPs-Vit D3 136 ± 43 nm. The NPs which were dispersed in an oil-in-water nanoemulsion exhibited average hydrodynamic sizes as follows: CALNPs 618 ± 12 nm, CALNPs-Vit E 50 ± 0.8 nm, and CALNPs-Vit D3 124 ± 6 nm. Encapsulation of the bioactives resulted in smaller hydrodynamic sizes for NPs, which could be attributed to the hydrophobic nature of the vitamins. The zeta potential of the CALNPs was -34.77 mV ± 1.63, CALNPs-Vit E was -30.78 mV ± 3.07 and the CALNPs-Vit D3 was -7.01 mV ± 1.66. The CALNPs showed physical, chemical, and microbial stability over three months. These materials were successfully incorporated into a skin cream which was prepared using only natural components. Microbial analysis of both the MPs and the resulting NPs in cream showed no bacterial contamination. The CALNPs-Vit E and CALNPs-Vit D3 exhibited the appearance of microbial growth when exposed to the natural environment at the end of 2 days while the cream containing the nanoparticles showed biodegradation at the end of 6 days. These observations indicated the cream which contained preservatives took longer to be attacked by microbes in the natural environment. Nevertheless, both the NPs and the cream containing them were biodegradable. The process developed for the synthesis of biodegradable biocompatible nanoparticles for the topical delivery of bioactives is an environmentally friendly,economical, and facile method with potential applications in the skin care industry.

Available for download on Wednesday, August 30, 2924