Scientific article

Adaptation and optimization of the emulsification-diffusion technique to prepare lipidic nanospheres

Published inEuropean journal of pharmaceutical sciences, vol. 26, no. 2, p. 211-218
Publication date2005

In this study, the emulsification-diffusion method traditionally used to prepare polymeric nanoparticles was adapted to obtain lipidic nanospheres (LN) using four model lipids. The method consists of dissolving the lipid in a partially water-miscible solvent (previously saturated with water) at room temperature or at controlled temperature depending on lipid solubility. This organic phase is emulsified in an aqueous solution of a stabilizing agent (saturated with solvent) by conventional stirring at the same temperature used to dissolve the lipid. This oil-in-water emulsion is then diluted with an excess of water at controlled temperature in order to provoke the diffusion from the internal phase into the external phase thereby causing lipid aggregation in the form of LN. This new approach for the preparation of LN has clear advantages over the existing methods, namely: (i) it is efficient and versatile; (ii) easy implementation and scaling up (with no need of high energy sources); (iii) high reproducibility and narrow size distribution; (iv) less physical stress (i.e., long exposure to high temperatures and to mechanical dispersion); (v) it is not necessary to dissolve the drug in the melted lipid. The selection of the water-miscible solvent and the stabilizers are critical parameters to obtain lipidic particles in the nanometric range. In general, solvents with high water miscibility and stabilizers able to form stable emulsions are preferred. The results demonstrated that it was possible to reduce the particle size by increasing the process temperature, the stirring rate, the amount of stabilizer, and by lowering the amount of lipid. Control of the preparative variables allowed to obtain LN with diameters under 100 nm. It was found that the influence of preparative parameters was associated with a mechanism based on a physicochemical instability. In this sense, it is suggested that the rapid solvent diffusion produces regions of local supersaturation near the interface, and LN are formed due to the ensuing interfacial phase transformations and lipid aggregation that occur in these interfacial domains. In terms of stability, only poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVAL) was able to preserve the physical stability of the dispersion for long periods after preparation. This effect was attributed to the ability of PVAL chains to form a strongly attached layer on the nanoparticle surface with an excellent repulsion effect.

  • Diffusion
  • Drug Carriers
  • Emulsions
  • Excipients/chemistry
  • Fatty Acids/chemistry
  • Lipids/chemistry
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Nanotubes
  • Particle Size
  • Polyethylene Glycols/chemistry
  • Polyvinyl Alcohol/chemistry
  • Solvents
  • Temperature
Citation (ISO format)
QUINTANAR GUERRERO, David et al. Adaptation and optimization of the emulsification-diffusion technique to prepare lipidic nanospheres. In: European journal of pharmaceutical sciences, 2005, vol. 26, n° 2, p. 211–218. doi: 10.1016/j.ejps.2005.06.001
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0928-0987

Technical informations

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