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Keywords:

  • melting profile;
  • morphology;
  • physical stability;
  • structured lipid systems;
  • waxes

Abstract

Structured solid lipid (SL) systems have the advantages of long-term physical stability, low surfactant concentrations, and may exhibit controlled release of active ingredients. In this research work, the potential use of high-melting SLs for the production of the above structured SL carrier systems was investigated. Dispersions containing either SL or blend of solid lipid and oil (SL+O) were produced by a hot melt high-pressure homogenization method. Experiments involved the use of 3 different SLs for the disperse phase: stearic acid, candelilla wax and carnauba wax. Sunflower oil was incorporated in the disperse phase for the production of the dispersions containing lipid and oil. In order to evaluate the practical aspects of structured particles, analytical techniques were used including: static light scattering to measure particle sizes, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) for investigating particle morphology and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) to investigate the crystallization behavior of lipids in bulk and in dispersions. Results showed different mean particle sizes depending on the type of lipid used in the disperse phase. Particle sizes for the 3 lipids were: stearic acid (SL: 195 ± 2.5 nm; SL+O: 138 ± 6.0 nm); candelilla wax (SL: 178 ± 1.7 nm; SL+O: 144 ± 0.6 nm); carnauba wax (SL: 303 ± 1.5 nm; SL+O: 295 ± 5.0 nm). TEM results gave an insight into the practical morphology, showing plate-like and needle-like structures. DSC investigations also revealed that SL dispersions melted and crystallized at lower temperatures than the bulk. This decrease can be explained by the small particle sizes of the dispersion, the high-specific surface area, and the presence of a surfactant.