β-lactoglobulin stabilized nanemulsions—Formulation and process factors affecting droplet size and nanoemulsion stability


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Abstract

Graphical abstractTo avoid the toxicological concerns associated to synthetic surfactants, proteins might be an alternative for the stabilization of pharmaceutical nanoemulsions. The present study investigates the use of β-lactoglobulin (β-lg) to stabilize oil in water biocompatible nanoemulsions intended for a pharmaceutical use and prepared by high pressure homogenization (HPH). The effects of composition (nature and weight fraction of oil, β-lg concentration) and of process parameters (pressure and number of cycles) on the droplet size and on the stability of nanoemulsions were thoroughly assessed. The nanoemulsions prepared with β-lg at 1 wt% and with 5 wt% Miglyol 812 (the oil with the lowest viscosity) displayed a relatively small particle size (about 200 nm) and a low polydispersity when a homogenization pressure of 100 MPa was applied for 4 cycles. These nanoemulsions were the most stable formulations over 30 days at least. Emulsification efficiency of β-lg was reduced at higher homogenization pressures (200 MPa and 300 MPa). The effect of HPH process on the interfacial properties of β-lg was evaluated by drop shape analysis. This treatment had an effect neither on the interfacial tension nor on the interfacial dilatational rheology of β-lg at the Miglyol 812/water interface.

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