American Chemical Society
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Bare and Sterically Stabilized PLGA Nanoparticles for the Stabilization of Pickering Emulsions

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journal contribution
posted on 2018-10-23, 00:00 authored by Claire Albert, Nicolas Huang, Nicolas Tsapis, Sandrine Geiger, Véronique Rosilio, Ghozlene Mekhloufi, David Chapron, Baptiste Robin, Mohamed Beladjine, Valérie Nicolas, Elias Fattal, Florence Agnely
Pickering emulsions were formulated using biodegradable and biocompatible poly­(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticles (NPs) prepared without surfactants or any other polymer than PLGA. A pharmaceutical and cosmetic oil (Miglyol) was chosen as the oil phase at a ratio of 10% w/w. These emulsions were then compared with emulsions using the same oil but formulated with well-described PLGA-poly­(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) NPs, i.e., with PVA as NP stabilizers. Strikingly, the emulsions demonstrated very different structures at macroscopic, microscopic, and interfacial scales, depending on the type of NPs used. Indeed, the emulsion layer was significantly thicker when using PLGA NPs rather than PLGA-PVA NPs. This was attributed to the formation and coexistence of multiple water-in-oil-in-water (W/O/W) and simple oil-in-water (O/W) droplets, using a single step of emulsification, whereas simple O/W emulsions were obtained with PLGA-PVA NPs. The latter NPs were more hydrophilic than bare PLGA NPs because of the presence of PVA at their surface. Moreover, PLGA NPs only slightly lowered the oil/water interfacial tension whereas the decrease was more pronounced with PLGA-PVA NPs. The PVA chains at the PLGA-PVA NP surface could probably partially desorb from the NPs and adsorb at the interface, inducing the interfacial tension decrease. Finally, independent of their composition, NPs were adsorbed at the oil/water interface without influencing its rheological behavior, possibly due to their mobility at their interface. This work has direct implications in the formulation of Pickering emulsions and stresses the paramount influence of the physicochemical nature of the NP surface into the stabilization of these systems.