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The fate of calcium carbonate nanoparticles administered by oral route: absorption and their interaction with biological matrices

Authors Lee J, Kim M, Kim H, Lee JK, Jeong J, Kim Y, Oh J, Choi S

Received 16 December 2014

Accepted for publication 6 February 2015

Published 23 March 2015 Volume 2015:10(1) Pages 2273—2293

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S79403

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Thomas J Webster


Jeong-A Lee,1,* Mi-Kyung Kim,1,* Hyoung-Mi Kim,2,* Jong Kwon Lee,3 Jayoung Jeong,4 Young-Rok Kim,5 Jae-Min Oh,2 Soo-Jin Choi1

1Department of Food Science and Technology, Seoul Women’s University, Seoul, Republic of Korea; 2Department of Chemistry and Medical Chemistry, College of Science and Technology, Yonsei University, Wonju, Republic of Korea; 3Hazard Substances Analysis Division, Gwangju Regional Food and Drug Administration, Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, Gwangju, Republic of Korea; 4Toxicological Research Division, National Institute of Food and Drug Safety Evaluation, Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, Chungcheongbuk-do, Republic of Korea; 5Department of Food Science and Biotechnology, Kyung Hee University, Yongin, Republic of Korea

*These authors contributed equally to this work


Background: Orally administered particles rapidly interact with biological fluids containing proteins, enzymes, electrolytes, and other biomolecules to eventually form particles covered by a corona, and this corona potentially affects particle uptake, fate, absorption, distribution, and elimination in vivo. This study explored relationships between the biological interactions of calcium carbonate particles and their biokinetics.
Methods: We examined the effects of food grade calcium carbonates of different particle size (nano [N-Cal] and bulk [B-Cal]: specific surface areas of 15.8 and 0.83 m2/g, respectively) on biological interactions in in vitro simulated physiological fluids, ex vivo biofluids, and in vivo in gastrointestinal fluid. Moreover, absorption and tissue distribution of calcium carbonates were evaluated following a single dose oral administration to rats.
Results: N-Cal interacted more with biomatrices than bulk materials in vitro and ex vivo, as evidenced by high fluorescence quenching ratios, but it did not interact more actively with biomatrices in vivo. Analysis of coronas revealed that immunoglobulin, apolipoprotein, thrombin, and fibrinogen, were the major corona proteins, regardless of particle size. A biokinetic study revealed that orally delivered N-Cal was more rapidly absorbed into the blood stream than B-Cal, but no significant differences were observed between the two in terms of absorption efficiencies or tissue distributions. Both calcium carbonates were primarily present as particulate forms in gastrointestinal fluids but enter the circulatory system in dissolved Ca2+, although both types showed partial phase transformation to dicalcium phosphate dihydrate. Relatively low dissolution (about 4%), no remarkable protein–particle interaction, and the major particulate fate of calcium carbonate in vivo gastrointestinal fluids can explain its low oral absorption (about 4%) regardless of particle size.
Conclusion: We conclude that calcium carbonate nanoparticles can act more actively with biological matrices in vitro and ex vivo, but that in vivo, their biological interactions and biokinetics are not affected by particle size.

Keywords: biological interaction, oral absorption, biokinetics, size effect, protein corona

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