The formation of chitosan-coated rhamnolipid liposomes containing curcumin: Stability and in vitro digestion

Wei Zhou, Ce Cheng, Li Ma, Liqiang Zou, Wei Liu, Ruyi Li, Yupo Cao, Yuhuan Liu, Roger Ruan, Jihua Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


There is growing interest in developing biomaterial-coated liposome delivery systems to improve the stability and bioavailability of curcumin, which is a hydrophobic nutraceutical claimed to have several health benefits. The curcumin-loaded rhamnolipid liposomes (Cur-RL-Lips) were fabricated from rhamnolipid and phospholipids, and then chitosan (CS) covered the surface of Cur-RL-Lips by electrostatic interaction to form CS-coated Cur-RL-Lips. The influence of CS concentration on the physical stability and digestion of the liposomes was investigated. The CS-coated Cur-RL-Lips with RL:CS = 1:1 have a relatively small size (412.9 nm) and positive charge (19.7 mV). The CS-coated Cur-RL-Lips remained stable from pH 2 to 5 at room temperature and can effectively slow the degradation of curcumin at 80C; however, they were highly unstable to salt addition. In addition, compared with Cur-RL-Lips, the bioavailability of curcumin in CS-coated Cur-RL-Lips was relatively high due to its high transformation in gastrointestinal tract. These results may facilitate the design of a more efficacious liposomal delivery system that enhances the stability and bioavailability of curcumin in nutraceutical-loaded functional foods and beverages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number560
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant numbers 32001689 and 21766018), the Natural Science Foundation of Hainan Province of China (grant number 320MS091 and 320QN325), the Open Project Program of State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, Nanchang University (No. SKLF-KF-202015), the Central Public Interest Scientific Institution Basal Research Fund for Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences (grant number 1630122017016), the Modern Agriculture Industry Technology System Innovation Team Project of Guangdong Province of China (grant number 2019KJ117), and the earmarked fund for the Belt and Road Tropical Project (grant number BARTP-10).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • chitosan
  • curcumin
  • in vitro digestion
  • liposomes
  • rhamnolipids
  • stability

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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