Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology

, Volume 392, Issue 9, pp 1131–1140 | Cite as

Glycerol monolaurate nanocapsules for biomedical applications: in vitro toxicological studies

  • Leonardo Quintana Soares LopesEmail author
  • Pablo Sebastian Britto de Oliveira
  • Walter Paixão de Souza Filho
  • Rodrigo de Almeida Vaucher
  • Janice Luehring Giongo
  • Michele Rorato Sagrillo
  • Roberto Christ Vianna Santos
Original Article


The glycerol monolaurate (GML) is a surfactant used in the food industry and has potent antimicrobial activity against many microorganisms; however, the use of GML is not expanded due its high melting point and poor solubility in water. The aim of the study was to produce, characterize, and evaluate in vitro the cytotoxicity of GML and GML nanocapsules. The GML nanocapsules were produced and characterized by a mean diameter, zeta potential, and polydispersity index. The cytotoxicity was evaluated by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), and hemolytic activity. The genotoxicity was verified by comet assay. The physicochemical parameters showed a mean diameter of 192.5 ± 2.8 nm, a polydispersity index of 0.061 ± 0.018, and a zeta potential about − 21.9 ± 1 mV. The viability test demonstrated the protector effect of GML nanocapsule compared with the GML on peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and VERO cells (isolated from kidney epithelial cells extracted from an African green monkey). A reduction in lipid peroxidation and lactate dehydrogenase release in GML nanocapsule–exposed cells compared with GML treated cells was observed. The damage on erythrocytes was addressed in treatment with GML, while the treatment with GML nanocapsules did not cause an effect. Moreover, the comet assay showed that the GML-caused genotoxicity and GML nanocapsules do not demonstrate damage. The study showed the reduction of toxicity of GML nanocapsules by many methods used in antimicrobial therapy.


Nanocapsules Hemolytic activity VERO cells Lipid peroxidation 


Author contribution

LQSL produced and characterized the nanocapsules. PSBO, WPSF, RAV, JLG, and MRS conducted the cytotoxicity and genotoxicity experiments. All authors read and approved the manuscript.

Funding information

This work received financial support from PPGPE/Universidade Franciscana-Probic, CNPq (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico), CAPES (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior) (Finance Code 001), and FAPERGS (Fundação de Amparo a Pesquisa do Rio Grande do Sul).

Compliance with ethical standards

The study was approved by the Research Ethics Committee of the Human of Universidade Franciscana (CAAE: 31211214.4.0000.5306).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leonardo Quintana Soares Lopes
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Pablo Sebastian Britto de Oliveira
    • 3
  • Walter Paixão de Souza Filho
    • 3
  • Rodrigo de Almeida Vaucher
    • 4
  • Janice Luehring Giongo
    • 5
  • Michele Rorato Sagrillo
    • 3
  • Roberto Christ Vianna Santos
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratory of Microbiology ResearchUniversidade FranciscanaSanta MariaBrazil
  2. 2.Post-Graduate Program in NanosciencesUniversidade FranciscanaSanta MariaBrazil
  3. 3.Laboratory of Genetic and Cellular CultureUniversidade FranciscanaSanta MariaBrazil
  4. 4.Laboratory of Research in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of Microorganisms, Post graduate Program in Biochemistry and BioprospectingUniversidade Federal de PelotasCapão do LeãoBrazil
  5. 5.Pharmacy DepartmentFaculdade AnhangueraPelotasBrazil

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