Some properties of extruded non-ionic surfactant micro-tubes


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Abstract

Polyhedral non-ionic surfactant vesicles (niosomes) undergo complex shape transitions as a result of mechanical stress. When extruded under pressure from capillaries with exit diameters smaller than the diameter of the vesicles, a series of novel structures comprising mostly of tubules, vesicles inside tubules and concentric structures can be formed. The microtubules (up to 80 μm in length) form as a result of the pressure exerted on polyhedral niosomes, this leading to the fusion of many vesicles, the relative shear giving movement of the vesicles giving rise to the formation of three distinctive structures, namely tubules, vesicle within tubule and concentric (“whorl”) morphologies. The entrapment efficiency of the tubules has been studied using a model solute 5(6)-carboxyfluorescein (CF), as has the effect of shear stress this and compaction pressure on the release of the entrapped solute. Deformation of the structures affects their ability to retain entrapped solute. Tubular structures heated above their transition temperatures reversibly transform into discrete vesicular structures.

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