A nanoencapsulation suspension biomimetic of milk structure for enhanced maternal and fetal absorptions of DHA to improve early brain development

Jie Zeng, Wenxuan Yu, Xiaoli Dong, Shanting Zhao, Zhe Wang, Yajie Liu, Man Sau Wong, Yi Wang (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is one ω-3 fatty acid that is essential for the development and function of the brain. However, a large number of clinical trials found that the DHA supplementation showed no advantage on mental and motor skill development in term infants. A strategy based on DHA nanoencapsulation (nano FO) using an edible plant protein, zein, mimicking the milk structure is applied for enhanced maternal and fetal absorptions of DHA to improve early brain development. The nano FO achieved increased absorption in GI tract, enhanced delivery to the maternal, fetal, and offspring brains, and reduced fatty acid accumulation in the fetal liver. In the behavior assessments, the nano FO diet showed enhanced learning and memory improvement compared to the normal FO diet. It indicated that zein nanoencapsulation is with high potential for drug and nutrient deliveries to brain and through placenta to fetus with no toxicity concern.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-128
Number of pages10
JournalNanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


  • Absorption
  • Brain
  • DHA
  • Encapsulation
  • Fetus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Pharmaceutical Science

Cite this