By using this website, you consent to our use of cookies. For more information on cookies see our privacy policy page.

Text Size: a a
HomeA-Z IndexSubscribe/RSS Contact Us Twitter logo small white bird


Funded Projects

Contact Us

Research Call

DAFM Reference


DAFM Award

DAFM National Call 2013 13F510 DIT (UCD) €474,628

Project Title:

Fungal biofactories: Improved delivery of natural selenium from the cultivated mushroom (Agaricus bisporus)

Project Coordinator:

Dr Jesus Frias

Project Abstract

The proposal uses a “smart” economy approach to a strategic sector of the Irish food industry by exploiting “spilling-over” (DAFF, 2010) Irish-based research know-how from the pharmaceutical drug delivery area to make oral nutraceutical formulations of natural selenium (Se) derived from mushrooms. Se has a number of approved EU health benefits. However, it is poorly absorbed in the small intestinal epithelium and has a narrow therapeutic index. The aim of this is proposal to isolate and purify mushroom Se by-products for oral formulation of nano enabled drug delivery technologies in order to improve permeability, bioavailability and reduce toxicity. In order to achieve this aim, the following methodologies will be used: (1) Development of Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (GFAAS) and Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectroscopy (GC/MS) analysis to characterise differential effects of cultivation and processing relating to the content of selenium organic compounds in mushroom extracts. (2) Evaluation of the delivery properties of Se extracts from mushrooms formulated using response surface methodology and robust in-vitro experimental protocols to identify (a) mushroom-derived components that can enhance Se transport (chitosan) and (b) additional ingredients (sodium caprate and maltodextrin) and technologies (nanoencapsulation). Using the results, (1) and (2) formulations of Se with optimal transport properties will be designed and tested ex-vivo employing Using chambers and in vivo by oral gavage delivery to a Se deficient rat model. The human health impacts will be assessed by monitoring the cytotoxicity of the active ingredients and nano formulations in vitro. Also, there is a long history of chitosan use in man as a dietary slimming agent and no human toxicology has been apparent over many years. While it is not approved as an official excipient, its known safety is one of the reasons it is used by the pharmaceutical industry as a component of oral nanoparticle formulations.

Final Report:

Not available yet.