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Nanoemulsions and mixed micelles

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Nanoemulsions, also known as miniemulsions, are kinetically stable liquid-in-liquid dispersions (e.g. oil in water) with droplets being around 20-500 nm in size. The droplets are stabilized and made water dispersible by the use of a suitable surfactant (e.g. sodium dodecyl sulfate) and one or more co-surfactants (e.g. short chain aliphatic alcohol). The surface of the droplets is amorphous and negatively charged. Nanoemulsions have shown to be highly applicable in many fields, including drug delivery, cosmetics, food and nanomaterial synthesis. In drug delivery applications they improve the drug efficacy, while decreasing toxicity and other adverse effects. They have been used in the treatment of infection, cancer and enzyme replacement therapy as well as for vaccination. By tuning the oil (or other liquid) phase, the optimal solvent for a particular drug or other active can be used, allowing for a variety of different lipophilic compounds to be encapsulated in the carrier. Due to their small size, nanoemulsions have a large surface area which improves absorption. Moreover, they can be formulated in many types of products, including liquids, sprays, foams and creams, as well as used for taste masking.

A micelle, on the other hand, is a roughly spherical aggregate of amphipathic lipid (or polymer) molecules dispersed in water (or other solvent). Other shapes, such as cylinders and ellipsoids, have also been reported. Typically the hydrophilic head groups of the lipids (or polymers) are in contact with the surrounding solvent, leaving the hydrophobic carbon chains of the lipids (or polymers) hidden in the centre of the micellar structure. The lipids (or polymers) do not form bilayers like in the case of liposomes due to the lipids (or polymers) having a single carbon chain instead of two, which drives monolayer formation. Mixed micelles refer to micelles that are composed of two or more different emulsifiers which themselves can form micelles. Generally mixed micelles have a different surfactant composition than the monomers present in solution. They have been used in drug delivery, chemotherapy and as imaging contrast agents, to name a few. They display reduced toxicity compared to simple micelles, and importantly, they prevent drug precipitation upon aqueous dilution and show lower pain on injection. Mixed micelles can easily be freeze-dried and also sterilized by filtration, generating stable formulations that can be used for intravenous applications.

At LIPOSOMA we are dedicated to empowering researchers with nanoemulsion and mixed micelle technology solutions tailored for in vivo, in vitro and many more applications. With our scientific expertise, we can help you in advancing your research and realizing your product development aims, whether for drug development or nutraceutical applications.

Nanoemulsion manufacturing methods can be divided into two categories: (I) high-energy emulsification and (II) low-energy emulsification. The first category covers methods such as high-pressure homogenization, ultrasonic emulsification, high-energy stirring, microfluidization and membrane emulsification. Low-energy emulsification, on the other hand, includes emulsion inversion point, spontaneous emulsification and phase inversion temperature. Several parameters, e.g. surfactant type and concentration, co-stabilizer type and concentration, oil/water ratio and production parameters, need to be carefully controlled to generate the desired formulation.

Depending on the type of mixed micelle, the manufacturing methods range from film dispersion and self-assembly to solvent evaporation. Various parameters, including emulsifier composition and concentration, temperature and stirring conditions, need to be carefully controlled to yield the desired formulation.

At LIPOSOMA, we understand the special needs and demands of academic and industrial researchers. We provide comprehensive support throughout your research journey, from initial consultation and formulation development to scalable manufacturing and quality control. Our collaborative approach ensures that our nanoemulsion and mixed micelle solutions align perfectly with your experimental needs, enabling you to achieve consistent and reproducible results.


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