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Langmuir. 2006 Jan 17;22(2):517-21.

Oil-loaded monolinolein-based particles with confined inverse discontinuous cubic structure (Fd3m).

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Institute of Chemistry, University of Graz, Graz, Austria.


In our recent work, we reported on the effect of varying temperature and solubilizing tetradecane (TC) on the structural transitions observed in dispersed particles based on the monolinolein (MLO)-water-TC system. At a given temperature, the addition of TC induces a transition of the internal structure from the bicontinuous cubic phase, Pn3m, to the reversed hexagonal, H2, and to the isotropic liquid phase (water-in-oil (W/O) microemulsions). Our present study focuses on the discovery of a Fd3m phase (reversed discontinuous micellar cubic), which is formed in the MLO-water-TC system at a specific TC/MLO weight ratio. It is situated between the H2 and the isotropic liquid phase (W/O microemulsion). Remarkably, it is not found in the absence of TC by increasing the temperature. The Fd3m structure was investigated in detail by means of small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), and cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM). The present work proves that the structural transformation in the dispersed particles from H2 (hexosomes) to the W/O microemulsion system (emulsified microemulsion (EME)) is indirect and it occurs gradually via an emulsified intermediate phase. Specifically, in addition to the nanostructured aqueous dispersions described above, we present new TC-loaded aqueous dispersions with a confined intermediate phase, which is a discontinuous micellar cubic phase of the symmetry Fd3m. We denoted this type of emulsified particles as "micellar cubosomes".


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