UCLA Researchers in the Departments of Chemistry, Physics, and Bioengineering have developed a process for creating double emulsions (droplets within droplets) for applications in pharmaceuticals, drug delivery, cosmetics, and personal care products. By contrast to more common double emulsions that have microscale droplet sizes, UCLA researchers have created nanoscale double emulsions that have both inner and outer droplet diameters below 100 nm, and these droplets can display a choice of biologically active co-polypeptide moieties.
Simple emulsions are dispersions of droplets of one liquid phase in another immiscible liquid phase. The most common are oil-in-water (O/W) or water-in-oil (W/O) emulsions that typically have microscale diameters. Double emulsions are more complex emulsions that consist of droplets within droplets, such as water-in-oil-in-water (W/O/W). The two primary means of creating double emulsions are structured microfluidic methods and sequential emulsification. Microfluidic methods are capable of producing highly uniform W/O/W emulsions, but it is a low-throughput process. A W/O/W double emulsion created by sequential emulsification must be size-fractionated to achieve uniform monodisperse droplets, but fractionation is also a low-throughput process. Most double emulsions rely on two surfactants for stability, not a single surfactant that can stabilize both inner and outer droplets. None of the existing double emulsification methods have so far been successful in creating nanoscale double emulsions in which both the inner and outer droplets are both sub-100 nm using a single type of surfactant.
The invention utilizes novel amphiphilic diblock copolypeptides that function as surfactants to stabilize stable double emulsions that can be formed using a variety of mixing methods using a single interfacial agent that is not biased against complex droplet topologies. An additional innovation is that both the inner aqueous droplets and outer oil droplets can be formed with diameters as small as tens of nanometers.
Co-polypeptide stabilized double emulsions provide both microscale and nanoscale drug delivery vehicles that can package both water-soluble and oil-soluble drugs or other cargo. Dual delivery of hydrophobic and hydrophilic cargo will have applications in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and personal care products.
The process has been experimentally verified.
|United States Of America||Issued Patent||8,283,308||10/09/2012||2007-574|
microfluidics drug delivery therapeutic materials