Facile preparation of internally self-assembled lipid particles stabilized by carbon nanotubes

Patil-Sen, Y, Sadeghpour, A, Rappolt, M and Kulkarni, CV orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-5621-4791 (2016) Facile preparation of internally self-assembled lipid particles stabilized by carbon nanotubes. Journal of Visualized Experiments (108). ISSN 1940-087X

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3791/53489


We present a facile method to prepare nanostructured lipid particles stabilized by carbon nanotubes (CNTs). Single-walled (pristine) and multi-walled (functionalized) CNTs are used as stabilizers to produce Pickering type oil-in-water (O/W) emulsions. Lipids namely, Dimodan U and Phytantriol are used as emulsifiers, which in excess water self-assemble into the bicontinuous cubic Pn3m phase. This highly viscous phase is fragmented into smaller particles using a probe ultrasonicator in presence of conventional surfactant stabilizers or CNTs as done here. Initially, the CNTs (powder form) are dispersed in water followed by further ultrasonication with the molten lipid to form the final emulsion. During this process the CNTs get coated with lipid molecules, which in turn are presumed to surround the lipid droplets to form a particulate emulsion that is stable for months. The average size of CNT-stabilized nanostructured lipid particles is in the submicron range, which compares well with the particles stabilized using conventional surfactants. Small angle X-ray scattering data confirms the retention of the original Pn3m cubic phase in the CNT-stabilized lipid dispersions as compared to the pure lipid phase (bulk state). Blue shift and lowering of the intensities in characteristic G and G' bands of CNTs observed in Raman spectroscopy characterize the interaction between CNT surface and lipid molecules. These results suggest that the interactions between the CNTs and lipids are responsible for their mutual stabilization in aqueous solutions As the concentrations of CNTs employed for stabilization are very low and lipid molecules are able to functionalize the CNTs, the toxicity of CNTs is expected to be insignificant while their biocompatibility is greatly enhanced. Hence the present approach finds a great potential in various biomedical applications, for instance, for developing hybrid nanocarrier systems for the delivery of multiple functional molecules as in combination therapy or polytherapy.

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