UCLA researchers in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry have developed a novel method to separate and recycle surfactants used in the manufacturing of nanoemulsions.
Nanoemulsions are oil-in-water (or vice versa) suspensions of nanoscale droplets that range in size from 15 to 100 nm, and have applications in drug delivery, as well as in personal care and food products. Nanoemulsions have many advantages over traditional emulsion materials (e.g. liposomes, micelles, vesicles, and miniemulsions) including: longer shelf-life, low/no toxicity, improved bioavailability of drugs, and ability to solubilize lipophilic drugs. A major obstacle in nanoemulsion manufacturing is the use of large volumes of surfactants to generate nano-droplets, requiring the eventual removal and disposal of excess surfactant increasing production costs.
Current methods to remove surfactants from nanoemulsion mixtures are via ultracentrifugation or dialysis and can be costly and time-intensive. The development of a novel surfactant separation and recycling system would drive down manufacturing cost and times, allowing for the reuse of surfactants in generating the small nanoscale droplets necessary for nanoemulsions.
Prof. Thomas Mason at UCLA has developed a novel surfactant separation and recycling system for nanoemulsion manufacturing. This system allows manufacturers to recover the excess surfactant needed to generate nanoemulsions and re-use it to continue to generate new nanoemulsions or smaller nanoscale droplets. Their system not only allows for the simple recovery of surfactants, but also droplet stabilizers, and surface active materials (e.g. proteins, lipids, and lipopeptides) which is desirable as these materials are exotic and may cost more than traditional surfactants. This innovation can make use of variety of recovery techniques that are cheaper and faster than traditional separation methods (e.g. ultracentrifugation and dialysis). This strategy to recycle surfactants and other key components of nanoemulsions will aid in generating low-cost highly stable nanoemulsions for use in drug delivery or manufacturing of food and personal care products.
|United States Of America||Issued Patent||9073022||07/07/2015||2008-625|
Nanoemulsion, emulsion, vesicle, micelle, liposome, miniemulsion, oil-in-water, water-in-oil, nanodroplets, drug delivery, drug delivery systems, nanoemulsion manufacturing, surfactants, surfactant recycling, lipophilic drugs, process recycling