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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 4013071, 7 pages
Research Article

Development of Alginate Microspheres Containing Chuanxiong for Oral Administration to Adult Zebrafish

1School of Chinese Medicine, College of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
2Department of Medical Laboratory Science and Biotechnology, China Medical University, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
3Department of Chemical Engineering, Feng Chia University, Taichung 40724, Taiwan
4Department of Health and Nutrition Biotechnology, Asia University, Taichung 41354, Taiwan
5School of Post-Baccalaureate Chinese Medicine, College of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
6Department of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung 40402, Taiwan

Received 26 January 2016; Accepted 29 May 2016

Academic Editor: Sung-Hoon Kim

Copyright © 2016 Li-Jen Lin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Oral administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) by patients is the common way to treat health problems. Zebrafish emerges as an excellent animal model for the pharmacology investigation. However, the oral delivery system of TCM in zebrafish has not been established so far. This issue was addressed by development of alginate microparticles for oral delivery of chuanxiong, a TCM that displays antifibrotic and antiproliferative effects on hepatocytes. The delivery microparticles were prepared from gelification of alginate containing various levels of chuanxiong. The chuanxiong-encapsulated alginate microparticles were characterized for their solubility, structure, encapsulation efficiency, the cargo release profile, and digestion in gastrointestinal tract of zebrafish. Encapsulation of chuanxiong resulted in more compact structure and the smaller size of microparticles. The release rate of chuanxiong increased for alginate microparticles carrying more chuanxiong in simulated intestinal fluid. This remarkable feature ensures the controlled release of encapsulated cargos in the gastrointestinal tract of zebrafish. Moreover, chuanxiong-loaded alginate microparticles were moved to the end of gastrointestinal tract after oral administration for 6 hr and excreted from the body after 16 hr. Therefore, our developed method for oral administration of TCM in zebrafish is useful for easy and rapid evaluation of the drug effect on disease.