Electroformation of Particulate Emulsions Using Lamellar and Nonlamellar Lipid Self-Assemblies

Bailey, Lauren Frances, Prabhakaran, Jayaschandran Vavolil, Vishwapathi, Vinod Kumar and Kulkarni, Chandrashekhar Vishwanath orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-5621-4791 (2021) Electroformation of Particulate Emulsions Using Lamellar and Nonlamellar Lipid Self-Assemblies. Langmuir, 37 (49). pp. 14527-14539. ISSN 0743-7463

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.langmuir.1c02721


We report on the development of an electroformation technique for the preparation of particulate (particle-based) emulsions. These oil-in-water (here, lipid phase acts as an “oil”) emulsions were prepared using nonlamellar lipid phases. Such emulsion particles offer high hydrophobic volumes compared to conventional lipid particles based on lamellar phases (vesicles/liposomes). In addition, the tortuous internal nanostructure contributes through greater surface area per volume of lipid particles allowing an enhanced loading of payloads. The electroformation method makes use of a capacitor formed from two indium tin oxide coated conductive glass surfaces separated by a dielectric aqueous medium. This capacitor setup is enclosed in a custom-designed 3D-printed unit. Lipid molecules, deposited on conductive surfaces, self-assemble into a nanostructure in the presence of an aqueous medium, which when subjected to an alternating current electric field forms nano- and/or microparticles. Optical microscopy, dynamic light scattering, and small-angle X-ray scattering techniques were employed for micro- and nanostructural analyses of electroformed particles. With this method, it is possible to produce particulate emulsions at a very low (e.g., 0.0005 wt % or 0.5 mg/mL) lipid concentration. We demonstrate an applicability of the electroformation method for drug delivery by preparing lipid particles with curcumin, which is a highly important but water-insoluble medicinal compound. As the method employs gentle conditions, it is potentially noninvasive for the delivery of delicate biomolecules and certain drugs, which are prone to decomposition or denaturation due to the high thermomechanical energy input and/or nonaqueous solvents required for existing methods.

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