The present PhD thesis, entitled: "Essential oil components encapsulated in mesoporous silica supports: a bioactive properties evaluation and a toxicological approach" focuses on the study of protection and controlled release of natural bioactive agents, derived from essential oil components (EOCs), encapsulated in mesoporous silica particles (MSPs). In addition, this thesis evaluatesthe silica-based supports to reduceundesirable sensorial propertiesandfor ensuring a low-health risk. The first section of the thesis shows the effect of encapsulation of EOCs in mesoporous silica supports. This study evaluates the efficiency of free and encapsulated EOCs to reduce the viability of cancer colon cell lines. This sectionalso shows the selectivity of encapsulated EOCs against cancer linesandtheir effect onnormal (non-cancer) colon cells. Results indicate that EOCs effect can be enhanced and sustained in time when EOCs are encapsulated. Moreover, EOCs' encapsulation shows promising specificity indices, reaching to double effect on colon cancer cells above normal cells. On the other hand,the encapsulation supports and their surface functionalization allows the odour masking of high volatility EOCs. Therefore, the delivery system based on MSPs represents an excellent alternative to promote controlled EOCs release, taking advance of their bioactive properties and solving the technical disadvantages related to volatility and unpleasant odours. Finally, samples used for garlic components encapsulation were immobilised in nanofibers to provide homogeneous and easy-to-handle hybrid system for controlling delivery.The developed 'composite' has potential applications on food, pharmacology, medical or engineering fields. The second sectionof the thesis evaluates the toxicity of the mesoporous silica supports through in vitro and in vivo assessments. Cell viability allows to identify the cytotoxic impact based on the kind of silica-based support, and their features (doses range, size and surface structure changes). Furthermore, the use of Caednorhabditis elegansmodel,shows the in vivo effects afterMSPs ingestion. The toxicological study confirms that size and surface structure, are decisiveMSPs' featuresfor reducing the toxicity risks for health. In summary, the present thesis evaluates the mesoporous silica-based particles as supports for EOCs encapsulation and identifies the main MSPs' features forreducingthe health-toxicity impact. Results of this thesis show that MSPs improve the EOCs activity and help to solve technical problemsof EOCs' volatility.Moreover, these results open up a suitable and safety option for oral delivery devices.
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