Carbon Nanotubes for the Stabilization of Lipid Nanostructured Particles

Gaunt, Nicholas Philip (2015) Carbon Nanotubes for the Stabilization of Lipid Nanostructured Particles. Masters thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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Lipid molecules are amphiphilic due to hydrophilic head-group and hydrophobic alkyl chain/s. Lipids are known to self-assemble into remarkable nanostructures in the aqueous medium. In order to enhance their applicability, these nanostructures are further stabilised into nanoparticles using various stabilisers; resultant are the oil-in-water emulsions, which are common in many food and consumer products. Surfactant based stabilisers have been very popular; however, for particular applications the surfactant molecules are not completely beneficial. In this case, the solid materials are employed to obtain surfactant-free emulsions also called Pickering (or Ramsden Pickering) emulsions. Natural and synthetic clays, silica nanoparticles and hydrocolloids have been used for this purpose. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have received noteworthy attention due to their unique structural, physical and electrical properties. These properties allow use for a huge range of applications, of which this thesis will outline. In the past, the hydrophobic surface of CNTs have limited their potential in many fields, as well as their tendency to aggregate in most solutions, leading to large amassed particles which prove near-impossible to disperse. The ability to stabilise lipid and CNTs would benefit several areas and applications such as drug delivery and gene therapy. With the techniques in the following report, however, the study has proven that the combination of Dimodan U (DU) and CNTs can form stable nanostructured dispersions, which remain homogeneous for several months. This idea proposes a new way to delivery simple drugs and by tweaking the nanostructure, through alteration of the ratios of CNT to lipid, these systems could be used in targeting different organs.

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