Application of NMR Spectroscopy to the Characterization of PEG-Stabilized Lipid Nanoparticles

The main purpose of the present work was to apply NMR techniques to characterize the nanostructural organization of a new drug nanocarrier composed of tripalmitin, lecithin, and poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-stearate. These nanocarriers were prepared by an emulsification−solvent evaporation technique and were characterized for their composition and nanostructural architecture. The results showed that tripalmitin, present in the core of the nanoparticles, is the main component of these systems, whereas PEG-stearate is firmly attached to the surface of the nanoparticles, forming a hydrated polymeric layer. Furthermore, the results indicate that, by selecting appropriately the composition of the lipid mixtures used for nanoparticle preparation, it was possible to modulate the PEG-coating density. This rigorous characterization by NMR provided very useful information about the architectural organization of this new colloidal drug carrier and showed the potential of modern NMR techniques for the characterization of core-coated nanostructures intended for drug delivery.