Acetylated lignin nanoparticles as a possible vehicle for photosensitizing molecules
Lignins are an underused and abundant bio-sourced polymer with various potential applications. An attractive one is the development of nanoparticles for bioactive compound delivery. Here, we optimized the synthesis of hydrodispersible nanoparticles of acetylated lignin, by comparing different lignin sources, degrees of acetylation and preparation method. The formation of acetylated lignin nanoparticles in various solvents was probed by both experiments and, for the first time, a molecular dynamics simulation of lignin nanoparticle formation was obtained. We showed that dialysis is more suitable to obtain these nanoparticles than anti-solvent addition. The encapsulation of hydrophobic photosensitizing porphyrin in these nanoparticles was also demonstrated and rationalized at the molecular level, together with experiments, docking and molecular dynamics simulations. As acetylated lignin has demonstrated to possess photosensitizing activity, the encapsulation of bioactive compounds in lignin nanoparticles opens a large scope of potential applications.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Nanoscale Advances HOT Article Collection