Study of emulsion stabilization by graft copolymers using the optical analyzer Turbiscan

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Oil-in-water nanoemulsions were prepared using a series of synthetic graft copolymers with a backbone of dextran (DEX) and a number of side chains of poly-ε-caprolactone (PCL). In this paper, we focus on the o/w emulsion stabilizing abilities of these novel PCL-DEX copolymers, using a recently developed optical analyzer (Turbiscan). The main advantage of Turbiscan is to detect the destabilization phenomena in non-diluted emulsion, much earlier than the naked eye’s operator, especially in the case of an opaque and concentrated system. This study shows that PCL-DEX copolymers successfully stabilized ethyl acetate-in-water emulsions, even in the absence of additional surfactants, whereas they were not efficient in stabilizing methylene chloride-in-water emulsions which coalesced fast and irreversibly. The ethyl acetate-in-water emulsion stabilizing ability of PCL-DEX seemed to be related to the localization of their blocks with regard to the oil–water interface.

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