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J Colloid Interface Sci. 2005 Oct 15;290(2):546-56.

Rheological characterization of polysaccharide-surfactant matrices for cosmetic O/W emulsions.

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Department of Chemical, Environmental and Raw Materials Engineering, University of Trieste, Italy.


Rheometrical techniques can be profitably used for polysaccharide matrices in order to evaluate their suitability for the preparation of stable cosmetic O/W emulsions. In particular, the rheological properties of aqueous scleroglucan systems were investigated under continuous and oscillatory shear conditions in a polymer concentration range (0.2-1.2% w/w) embracing the sol/gel transition. The effects due to the addition of two different surfactants (up to 10% w/w) were examined at constant polymer concentration (0.4% w/w). The selected additives are a nonionic polymeric siliconic surfactant (dimethicone copolyol) and a cationic surfactant (tetradecyltrimethylammonium bromide), respectively. Polysaccharide-surfactant interactions leading to complex formation were detected also through rheology. The combined action of both nonionic and cationic surfactants in the polymer solution was examined at two different surfactant concentration levels (5 and 10% w/w), demonstrating the beneficial effects produced on the mechanical properties of the polymer matrix by the coexistence of both surfactants. Such beneficial effects are confirmed by the stability and rheology shown by the emulsions prepared. In this way, the results point out the good agreement between the rheology of the continuous phase and the final characteristics of the emulsion obtained.

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