Naturally occurring polymers such as alginate (AL) and chitosan (CS) are widely used in biomedical and pharmaceutical fields in various forms such as nanoparticles, capsules, and emulsions. These polymers have attractive applications in drug delivery because of their biodegradability, biocompatibility, and nontoxic nature. The pharmaceutical applications of essential oils such as turmeric oil and lemongrass oil are well-known, and their active components, ar-turmerone and citral, respectively, are known for their antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, antimutagenic, and anticarcinogenic properties. However, these essential oils are unstable, volatile, and insoluble in water, which limits their use for new formulations. Therefore, this study focuses on developing a CS-AL nanocarrier for the encapsulation of essential oils. The effects of process parameters such as the effect of heat and the concentrations of AL and CS were investigated. Various physicochemical characterization techniques such as scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy were performed. Results of characterization studies showed that 0.3 mg/mL AL and 0.6 mg/mL CS produced minimum-sized particles (<300 >nm) with good stability. It was also confirmed that the oil-loaded nanocapsules were hemocompatible, suggesting their use for future biomedical and pharmaceutical applications. Furthermore, the antiproliferative activity of turmeric oil- and lemongrass oil-loaded nanocapsules was estimated using 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay in A549 cell lines and it was found that both the nanoformulations had significant antiproliferative properties than the bare oil. Copyright © 2015, Food and Drug Administration, Taiwan. Published by Elsevier Taiwan LLC. All rights reserved.

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