Stability-limit “Ouzo region” boundaries for poly(lactide-co-glycolide) nanoparticles prepared by nanoprecipitation

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Abstract

The introduction of “Ouzo diagrams” has enhanced the applicability of the basic nanoprecipitation process for drug delivery research. The current study investigated the interaction of two relevant polymer/solvent systems, which is thought to impact the location of the stability–limit “Ouzo boundary”.

Viscosity measurements (Kurata–Stockmayer–Fixman approach) and static light scattering (Debye method) underlined a distinct interplay of the employed polymer (poly(lactide-co-glycolide)) with the utilized organic solvents (acetone and tetrahydrofuran). Both methods indicated that tetrahydrofuran was the “better” solvent for poly(lactide-co-glycolide). Thus, nanoprecipitation of this polymer/solvent composition resulted in larger nanoparticles. This observation can be attributed to the chain configuration of poly(lactide-co-glycolide) in the organic solvent, which influenced the extent of the break-up of the injected solvent layer. Accordingly, the stability–limit curve of the “Ouzo region” was shifted to lower poly(lactide-co-glycolide) fractions for tetrahydrofuran.

Overall, the location of the “Ouzo region”, which is an essential tool for drug delivery research, is influenced by the employed organic solvent. The current study described two distinct methods suitable to identify relevant polymer–solvent interactions, which dictate the stability–limit “Ouzo boundary” for relevant poly(lactide-co-glycolide).

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