FEB 03, 2019 10:49 AM PST

Nano-encapsulation Technology Enhances Early Brain Development

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

A new form of nano-encapsulating technology was recently announced by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) for the optimization of the maternal and fetal absorption of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) for the enhancement of early brain development. The research study was designed to address issues related to delivery and absorption of DHA—a typed of Omega-3 fatty acid.

Specifically, the research team developed the nano-encapsulation technology to protect DHA from oxidation. They used an edible corn protein to serve as the encapsulation material to mimic milk fat globule membrane. The technology forms a core-shell structure to protect DHA in fish oil through digestive enzymes—facilitating DHA absorption in brain, intestine and placenta. To test the efficacy of nano-encapsulation technology in enhancing DHA absorption, the research team conducted experiments on maternal mice and their offspring.

Usually obtained from diet, DHA is naturally found in breast milk and fish oil which makes it an important nutrient for the development and function of brain. During fetal life, DHA is transferred from the mother to the fetus across the placenta. But, DHA supplementation is usually required if absorption issues are present. However, because its composition is highly unsaturated making it prone to oxidation it is unlikely that it can be sufficiently up-taken through supplements. Therefore, the nano-encapsulation technology aimed to address this issue.

Learn more about DHA:

"Our team innovated the nano-encapsulation technology, which is proven to be an effective technology to protect DHA from oxidation in vivo, thus enhancing the absorption and efficacy of DHA. Our findings also indicated that the technology can help overcome blood-brain barrier in DHA delivery. We therefore believe that the technology could be further applied to enhance the efficiency of drug delivery for the brain, such as those for patients with dementia or Alzheimer's disease," says Dr Wang Yi, Assistant Professor of ABCT.

Source: Science Daily

About the Author
  • Nouran earned her BS and MS in Biology at IUPUI and currently shares her love of science by teaching. She enjoys writing on various topics as well including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
You May Also Like
JAN 27, 2020
Earth & The Environment
JAN 27, 2020
Study Triples Estimate of Sea Level Rise Vulnerability
The estimate of people at risk from coastal flooding due to climate-change-related sea level rise has tripled, thanks to a new study from published today i...
JAN 27, 2020
Space & Astronomy
JAN 27, 2020
The Air Force's X-37B Plane Spent 780 Days in Space, But Why?
The United States Air Force regularly conducts top-secret missions and science experiments on behalf of the federal government. One of the military branch&...
JAN 27, 2020
Technology
JAN 27, 2020
How Dangerous are Cell Phone Towers?
Ever wondered if the cell towers that help us make important phone calls are damaging to our health? The emerging growth of cell towers is paralleling the ...
JAN 27, 2020
Cell & Molecular Biology
JAN 27, 2020
Learning More About Cell Dynamics with Holo-Tomographic Microscopy
A new microscopy technique called holo-tomographic microscopy can generate 3D images and does not require labeling....
JAN 27, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
JAN 27, 2020
Beware Twitter Bots Spreading False Cannabis Claims
Twitter bots (accounts controlled by software instead of people) are spreading false claims about the medical uses of cannabis, a new study in the American...
JAN 27, 2020
Technology
JAN 27, 2020
Can A Computer Identify You By How You Dance?
We have heard of face and voice recognition software programs that work to ensure the identity of someone. But, now researchers are indicating that the way...
Loading Comments...