Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 95, Issue 6, pp 1445–1456

Yeast cells as microcapsules. Analytical tools and process variables in the encapsulation of hydrophobes in S. cerevisiae

Biotechnological products and process engineering

DOI: 10.1007/s00253-012-4127-8

Cite this article as:
Ciamponi, F., Duckham, C. & Tirelli, N. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol (2012) 95: 1445. doi:10.1007/s00253-012-4127-8


Yeast cells can be used as biocompatible and biodegradable containers for the microencapsulation of a variety of actives. Despite the wide application of this process, e.g. in the food industry, mechanism and controlling factors are yet poorly known. In this study we have studied kinetics and mechanistic aspects of the spontaneous internalization of terpenes (as model hydrophobic compounds) in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, quantifying their encapsulation through HPLC analysis and fluorescent staining of lipidic bodies with Nile Red, while in parallel monitoring cell viability. Our results showed that this encapsulation process is essentially a phenomenon of passive diffusion with negligible relevance of active transport. Further, our evidence shows that the major determinant of the encapsulation kinetics is the solubility of the hydrophobe in the cell wall, which is inversely related to partition coefficient (log P).


EncapsulationYeastCell wallFlavoursDiffusion

Supplementary material

253_2012_4127_MOESM1_ESM.docx (6.4 mb)
ESM 1(DOCX 6,572 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Federica Ciamponi
    • 1
  • Craig Duckham
    • 2
  • Nicola Tirelli
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical SciencesUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK
  2. 2.Cara Technology, Leatherhead Enterprise CentreLeatherheadUK
  3. 3.School of Materials and School of BiomedicineUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK
  4. 4.Molteni Farmaceutici, SPAScandicci (Firenze)Italy
  5. 5.CD R&D consultancy servicesLeatherheadUK