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Langmuir. 2004 Jun 22;20(13):5254-61.

Reversible phase transitions in emulsified nanostructured lipid systems.

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Institute of Chemistry, Colloids & Polymers, University of Graz, Graz, Austria.


Aqueous submicron-sized dispersions of the binary monolinolein/water system, which are stabilized by means of a polymer, internally possess a distinct nanostructure. Taking this as our starting point, we were able to demonstrate for the first time that the internal structure of the dispersed particles can be tuned by temperature in a reversible way. Upon increasing the temperature, the internal structure undergoes a transition from cubic via hexagonal to fluid isotropic, the so-called L2 phase, and vice versa. Intriguingly, in addition to the structural changes in topology, the particles expel (take up) water to (from) the aqueous continuous phase when increasing (decreasing) the temperature in a reversible way. At each temperature, the internal structure of the dispersed particles corresponds very well to the structure observed in nondispersed binary monolinolein with excess water. This agreement is independent of any thermal history (including phase transitions), which proves that the structures in the dispersed particles actually are in thermodynamic equilibrium with the surrounding water phase.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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