Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 81, Issue 2, pp 225–233 | Cite as

Microencapsulated bile salt hydrolase producing Lactobacillus reuteri for oral targeted delivery in the gastrointestinal tract

  • Christopher Martoni
  • Jasmine Bhathena
  • Aleksandra Malgorzata Urbanska
  • Satya Prakash
Biotechnological Products and Process Engineering


This is the first study of its kind to screen probiotic lactic acid bacteria for the purpose of microencapsulating a highly bile salt hydrolase (BSH)-active strain. A Lactobacillus reuteri strain and a Bifidobacterium longum strain were isolated as the highest BSH producers among the candidates. Microcapsules were prepared with a diameter of 619 ± 31 μm and a cell load of 5 × 109 cfu/ml. Post de Man, Rogosa, and Sharpe broth-acid challenge, L. reuteri microcapsules metabolized glyco- and tauro-conjugated bile salts at rates of 10.16 ± 0.46 and 1.85 ± 0.33 μmol/g microcapsule per hour, respectively, over the first 2 h. Microencapsulated B. longum had minimal BSH activity and were significantly (P < 0.05) more susceptible to acid challenge. Further testing of L. reuteri microcapsules in a simulated human gastrointestinal (GI) model showed an improved rate, with 49.4 ± 6.21% of glyco-conjugates depleted after 60 min and complete deconjugation after 4 h. Microcapsules protected the encased cells in the simulated stomach maintaining L. reuteri viability above 109, 108, and 106 cfu/ml after 2 h at pH 3.0, 2.5, and 2.0, respectively. Results show excellent potential for this highly BSH-active microencapsulation system in vitro, highlighted by improved viability and substrate utilization in simulated GI transit.


Microcapsule Probiotic bacteria L. reuteri Bile salt hydrolase Oral delivery Gastrointestinal tract 



This work was supported by research grants from Micropharma Limited (Montreal, Quebec) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). C.M. gratefully acknowledges a Canada Graduate Scholarship from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). J.B. gratefully acknowledges Postgraduate Scholarships from CIHR and the Canadian Liver Foundation (CLF). A.M.U. gratefully acknowledges a Postgraduate Scholarship from NSERC.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher Martoni
    • 1
  • Jasmine Bhathena
    • 1
  • Aleksandra Malgorzata Urbanska
    • 1
  • Satya Prakash
    • 1
  1. 1.Biomedical Technology and Cell Therapy Research Laboratory, Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Physiology, Artificial Cells and Organs Research Center, Faculty of MedicineMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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