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Langmuir. 2013 Oct 22;29(42):13058-65. doi: 10.1021/la402732a. Epub 2013 Oct 9.

Cubic and sponge phases in ether lipid-solvent-water ternary systems: phase behavior and NMR characterization.

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Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Pharmaceutical Technology, Chalmers University of Technology , SE-41296 Gothenburg, Sweden.


The phase behavior of 1-glyceryl monoleyl ether (GME) in mixtures of water and the solvents 1,5-pentanediol (POL) or N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) was investigated by ocular inspection, polarization microscopy, and small-angle X-ray diffraction (SAXD). Phase diagrams were constructed based on analyses of more than 200 samples prepared using the two different solvents at 20 °C. The inverse hexagonal phase formed by GME in excess of water was transformed into the cubic and sponge phase with the increasing amount of each solvent. Particularly POL allowed for the formation of an extended sponge phase area in the phase diagram, comprising up to 70% POL-water mixture. The phase behavior using NMP was found to be similar to the earlier investigated solvent propylene glycol. The extended sponge phase for the POL system was attributed to POLs strong surface/interfacial activity with the potential to stabilize the polar/apolar interface of the sponge phase. The cubic and sponge phases formed using POL were further studied by NMR in order to measure the partitioning of POL between the lipid and aqueous domains of the phases. The domain partition coefficient K (lipid domain/aqueous domain) for POL in cubic and sponge phases was found to be 0.78 ± 0.14 and constant for the two phases.

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