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RiFood develops novel selenium nanoparticles for managing postmenopausal osteoporosis

20 Oct 2023

Research Results

October 20 2023 marks this year’s World Osteoporosis Day. On the same day, Prof. WONG Ka-hing, Director of the Research Institute for Future Food (RiFood) and Professor in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition (FSN), shared with the media his team’s latest research on the development of novel Cs4-selenium nanocomposites (Cs4-SeNPs) for managing postmenopausal osteoporosis.

Selenium is an essential trace mineral to human health, playing important roles in many physiological functions. In the past decades, substantial evidences have demonstrated that Se deficiency is detrimental to bone microarchitecture and associated with osteoporosis, suggesting its crucial role in bone metabolism. Recently, selenium nanoparticles (SeNPs) have become a new research target, since they were found to possess remarkable bioactivity and lower toxicity compared to those selenocompounds commomly found in foods. Nevertheless, scientific research concerning their effects on bone health is currently very limited.

By using the polysaccharide-protein complex isolated from Cordyceps sinensis, Prof. Wong has successfully prepared novel selenium nanoparticles (entitled “Cs4-SeNPs”), with well-characterised structure and high stability. Interestingly, Cs4-SeNPs (10μM) were found to markedly induce proliferation, differentiation, and mineralisation of the pre-osteoblast murine MC3T3-E1 cells. More importantly, Cs4-SeNPs (25-500μg/kg BW/d) exhibited promising in vivo bone protective efficacy against OVX-induced osteoporosis by promoting bone formation, inhibiting bone resorption, and improving bone microarchitecture after oral gavage for 6 weeks. This patented nanotechnology has gained wide recognition with various international awards, while the research findings have been recently published in Journal of Functional Foods.

Further investigation on Cs4-SeNPs’ gastrointestinal stability, intestinal absorption and metabolism is now underway. The team look forward to collaborating with the industry in further development of related health food products and drugs.


Online coverage (Chinese only):

Oriental Daily News -
am730 -
Ta Kung Pao -
Wen Wei Po -

Hong Kong Economic Journal -

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Read the full research paper: 

Topics Research Institute for Future Food
Research Units Research Institute for Future Food

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