UCLA researchers in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry have developed a novel method of reducing sizes of droplets in multiple emulsion systems.
The process of extreme emulsification is used to make nanoscale emulsion droplets (radii <100 nm) by imposing an extreme flow using a high-pressure microfluidic device or an acoustic or ultrasonic device. Strong viscous flows around the larger droplets stretch out the droplets, and capillary instability driven by the interfacial tension between the two liquid phases causes the stretched droplets to break up into smaller droplets. Extreme emulsification process using low concentration of surfactant typically produces oil-in-water nanoemulsions with droplets that have radii in the range of 40 nm to 100 nm. A significant amount of surfactant must be used, with additional cost, in order to make nanoemulsions with droplets that have radii as small as 15 nm.
Researchers at UCLA have developed a more economical method of reducing droplet sizes and controlling droplet compositions in emulsions and nanoemulsions without significantly increasing the amount of surfactant during the process. This technology can be used to reduce droplet sizes in oil-in-water nanoemulsion systems, water-in-oil emulsion systems, water-in-oil nanoemulsion systems, oil-in-(immiscible oil) emulsion systems, and oil-in-(immiscible oil) nanoemulsion systems. Using this method, the UCLA researchers have successfully created nanoscale emulsion droplets of less than 20 nm in an oil-in-water nanoemulsion system. This technology provides possibilities for production of nanoscale emulsion droplets containing a wide variety of dispersed materials (i.e. polymers and biopolymers, nanoparticles, small molecules) that are amenable to nanostructured encapsulation applications in foods, cosmetics, drug delivery and beyond.
The principle of this process has been reduced to practice. An economically feasible working device is under development.
|United States Of America||Issued Patent||10,285,940||05/14/2019||2014-182|
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Additional Patent Pending
Nanoemulsion, emulsion droplet size reduction, oil-in-water nanoemulsion, water-in-oil emulsion, water-in-oil nanoemulsion, oil-in-(immiscible oil) emulsion, oil-in-(immiscible oil) nanoemulsion, drug delivery system