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A novel nanoemulsification method of stirring at the Θ-point with the tocopherol-based block co-polymer nonionic emulsifier PPG-20 Tocophereth-50

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Nanoemulsions have recently become increasingly important as potential vehicles for the controlled delivery of cosmetics and for the optimized dispersion of active ingredients in particular skin layers. The preparation of conventional nanoemulsions requires mainly high-pressure homogenization, which is unproductive and requires high energy due to its lower efficiency, limiting their practical applications. In order to solve these problems novel nanoemulsions were studied using a model system of pseudo-ternary water/emulsifier/paraffin oil. Nanoemulsions were prepared by stirring a mixture of the tocopherol-containing block co-polymer emulsifier PPG-20 Tocophereth-50, paraffin oil, and distilled water at the Θ-point using weight fractions of the dispersed phase (φ) of 0.31 to 0.82 and an emulsifier content of 1.0 to 9 wt.%. The emulsifying property of PPG-20 Tocophereth-50 in nanoemulsions was compared with that of the conventional emulsifiers Tocophereth-43, a mixture of polysorbate 60 and sesquioleate (3/1), and phospholipids. Also the emulsifying property of PPG-20 Tocophereth-50 in the more hydrophilic oils caprylic/capric triglyceride and octyldodecanol was compared with that in paraffin oil. The stability and morphology of the resulting nanoemulsions were studied by visual inspection, optical microscopy, particle size analysis, and cryo-scanning electron microscopy. In the nanoemulsion systems containing caprylic/capric triglyceride and octyldodecanol, respectively, as an oil phase PPG-20 Tocophereth-50 showed emulsification properties similar to those in paraffin oil. The conventional emulsifiers Tocophereth-43, a mixture of polysorbate 60 and sesquioleate (3/1), and phospholipids did not give nanoemulsions with high-speed stirring. The block co-polymer nonionic emulsifier PPG-20 Tocophereth-50 was found to produce stable nanoemulsions of mean droplet diameters ranging from 204 to 499 nm. The emulsification method of high-speed stirring at the Θ-point using PPG-20 Tocophereth-50 was found to be very effective for the preparation of stable nanoemulsions useful for applications in skincare cosmetics, cosmeceuticals, and drugs.
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Keywords: Nanoemulsion; block co-polymer amphiphile; cryo-scanning electron microscopy; mean particle size; stability; weight fraction of dispersed phase (φ); Θ-point

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: VITACOS Corporation, 1123-3 Kuro 3-dong, Kuro-gu, Seoul 152-880 Korea 2: Department of Chemistry, Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology 373-1, Kusung-dong, Yusung-gu, Taejon 305-701 Korea 3: National Instrumentation Center for Environmental Management, Seoul National University, San 56-1, Sillim 9-dong, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 151-742, Korea

Publication date: April 1, 2005

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