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 earned her BS and MS in Biology at IUPUI and currently shares her love of science by teaching. She enjoys writing on various topics as well including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
You May Also Like
JAN 03, 2020
Neuroscience
JAN 03, 2020
Natural Smells Effective in Reducing Stress Levels
For some time now, studies have been abound on the benefits of nature for both physical and mental health. Now, however, research shows that smells derived...
FEB 03, 2020
Space & Astronomy
FEB 03, 2020
How NASA's MAVEN Spacecraft is Studying Mars' Ionosphere
If you ever listen to the radio and experience a phenomenon in which the broadcast sounds garbled or as if another radio station is attempting to play over...
FEB 23, 2020
Space & Astronomy
FEB 23, 2020
InSight Will Attempt to Push Down on its Mole Instrument
NASA’s sent its Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) mission to Mars so that it could deploy a sui...
MAR 02, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
MAR 02, 2020
Bluetooth-enabled skin patch monitors diabetics' glucose levels
A new wearable skin patch could completely transform daily glucose tracking routines for diabetics. This innovation, developed by the UK-based company Nema...
MAR 14, 2020
Technology
MAR 14, 2020
Mass Cytometry Can Bring New Cancer Therapeutics
New technology may soon accelerate cancer therapeutic development. The revolutionary technique is called mass cytometry (also referred to as CyTOF) and can...
MAR 17, 2020
Technology
MAR 17, 2020
Flat-Panel Technology
Scientists are looking to reinvent mirrors! At least according to research being done at Los Alamos National Laboratory, investigators are looking towards ...
Loading Comments...