Enhanced permeation, leaf retention, and plant protease inhibitor activity with bicontinuous microemulsions

TitleEnhanced permeation, leaf retention, and plant protease inhibitor activity with bicontinuous microemulsions
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsTamhane, VA, Dhaware, DG, Khandelwal, N, Giri, AP, Panchagnula, V
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Date PublishedOCT
KeywordsBicontinuous microemulsion, Biopesticide, Microemulsion pesticide, protease inhibitor, Protein encapsulation, Protein permeation

Bicontinuous microemulsions (BCMEs) have excellent solubulizing properties along with low interfacial tension and aqueous content that can be controlled. In this work, water soluble plant protease inhibitor (PI), well characterized for its activity against insect pests, was incorporated into a BCME system and explored for permeation on hydrophobic leaf surfaces and protease inhibition activity. The bicontinuous nature of the microemulsion containing water:2-propanol:1-butanol (55:35:10 w/w) was characterized using conductivity and self-diffusion coefficient measurements. The PI was soluble in the water-rich bicontinuous domains, stable in the microemulsions, and protease inhibition activity was retained for a prolonged duration. The microemulsions ensured greater wettability and a wider spread of the PI on hydrophobic leaf surfaces as revealed by contact angle measurements. Significantly, trypsin inhibition activity assays of the PI recovered from the leaves after delivery from the microemulsion indicated a significant increase in the PI retention on the leaf. This BCME enabled greater leaf permeation and retention of the PI can be attributed to a temporary disruption of the waxy leaf surface followed by self-repair without causing any long term damage to the plant. (C) 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Biochemical Sciences