JUN 24, 2019 10:31 AM PDT

Nanoemulsion: The new way to deliver drugs

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Nanoemulsions are tiny droplets of one liquid suspended within another liquid. These emulsions are similar to the droplets that form when you shaking an oil-and-vinegar mixture except the droplets are much smaller giving them an edge for stability for longer periods of time. Essentially, because nanoemulsions are so small--droplets with a diameter 200 nanometers or smaller—there desirability is not just in stability but in higher ratio of surface area that can allow them to carry active ingredients such as drugs or sunscreens.

 

 

Now, MTI chemical engineers have found a way to transform liquid nanoemulsions into a gel upon reaching body temperature (37 degrees Celsius). The process can prove useful for innovative drug delivery through skin.

"The pharmaceutical industry is hugely interested in nanoemulsions as a way of delivering small molecule therapeutics. That could be topically, through ingestion, or by spraying into the nose, because once you start getting into the size range of hundreds of nanometers you can permeate much more effectively into the skin," says Patrick Doyle, the Robert T. Haslam Professor of Chemical Engineering and the senior author of the study.

The study, published in Nature Communications, describes nanoemulsions that were stable for more than a year. The potential usage in its drug delivery was demonstrated using ibuprofen into droplets.

MTI News: MIT chemical engineers have devised a way to convert liquid nanoemulsions into solid gels. These gels (red) form almost instantaneously when drops of the liquid emulsion enter warm water. (Image: Courtesy of the researchers)

The more energy that is placed in the nanoemulsions--the smaller the droplets, the increased stability. "With this approach, you don't have to put in much energy at all," Doyle says. "In fact, a slow stirring bar almost spontaneously creates these super small emulsions."

Source: Science Daily

About the Author
  • Nouran is a scientist, educator, and life-long learner with a passion for making science more communicable. When not busy in the lab isolating blood macrophages, she enjoys writing on various STEM topics.
You May Also Like
APR 01, 2021
Clinical & Molecular DX
E-Skin Device Sticks onto Throat, Detects COVID Infections
APR 01, 2021
E-Skin Device Sticks onto Throat, Detects COVID Infections
What is e-skin technology? These wearable electronics are soft, flexible, and stick on to the surface of skin with a vas ...
MAY 05, 2021
Technology
Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs) Shed Light on Type 2 Diabetes in Hispanic Adults
MAY 05, 2021
Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs) Shed Light on Type 2 Diabetes in Hispanic Adults
According to the CDC, of the roughly 34 million Americans living with diabetes, up to 95% of them are living with type 2 ...
MAY 25, 2021
Technology
Telehealth May Be Here To Stay, But Economic Challenges Could Cause Access Issues
MAY 25, 2021
Telehealth May Be Here To Stay, But Economic Challenges Could Cause Access Issues
The widespread use of telehealth, or the use of technology to facilitate an “appointment” with a doctor, bec ...
MAY 27, 2021
Technology
High Amounts of TV Watching for Middle-aged Adults Could Cause Cognitive Decline
MAY 27, 2021
High Amounts of TV Watching for Middle-aged Adults Could Cause Cognitive Decline
How often do you watch T.V. each week? Each day? It turns out, the amount of T.V. you watch as a middle-aged adult could ...
JUN 03, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
Smartphone App More Effective than Traditional Treatment for Osteoarthritis
JUN 03, 2021
Smartphone App More Effective than Traditional Treatment for Osteoarthritis
  Researchers at the University of Nottingham in the UK and Joint Academy have found that a clinical evidence-based ...
JUN 22, 2021
Clinical & Molecular DX
See the Nasties on Your Skin with Your Smartphone
JUN 22, 2021
See the Nasties on Your Skin with Your Smartphone
The skin is home to around 1.5 trillion bacteria, which together with fungi and viruses, make up the skin microbiota. Th ...
Loading Comments...