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Nanosponges for the protection and release of the natural phenolic antioxidants quercetin, curcumin and phenethyl caffeate

  • Authors: Guernelli, Susanna; Cariola, Alice; Baschieri, Andrea; Amorati, Riccardo; Lo Meo, Paolo
  • Publication year: 2020
  • Type: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


The inclusion of polyphenols into nanoporous materials may significantly improve their application as radical trapping agents for therapeutic purposes. In the present work, nanosponges based on hypercross- linked cyclodextrins and calixarenes (NS1–NS3) were used as carriers of three natural phenolic antioxidants: quercetin (Que), curcumin (Cur) and phenethyl caffeate (Phec). Good w/w loadings, namely 7.3% for the Que–NS1 composite, 17.3% for Cur–NS2 and 12.9% for Phec–NS3, were achieved. The release kinetics and the inhibition rate constants (kinh) of the reaction with alkylperoxyl radicals (ROO.) in 0.1 M phosphate buffer solutions at pH 7.4 were studied and indicated better antioxidant activity as compared to the phenols alone. The three phenols suffered a dramatic reduction of kinh upon increasing their concentration, as a result of their degradation. The inclusion into the nanosponges protected the antioxidants and provided a controlled release in an aqueous medium. Hence, different applications can be envisaged, in food and pharmaceutical technology fields.