The Journal of pharmacy and pharmacology

The influence of surface properties on uptake of oil into complex coacervate microcapsules.

PMID 7815274


A range of surfactants with different hydrophile-lipophile balance (HLB) values was selected to investigate the influence of interfacial properties on the uptake of oil droplets into complex coacervate microcapsules. The well characterized gelatin/acacia complex coacervate system was used in this study and the encapsulation of squalane, and oleic acid was investigated. The surfactants investigated were Span 85, Span 80, Span 40, egg yolk lecithin, and Tween 80. Combinations of surfactants were utilized to obtain intermediate HLB values. The percentage oil encapsulated was determined gravimetrically, based on the initial concentration and the amount extracted from the microcapsules. The aqueous interfacial tension values of the oils and oil/surfactant systems were measured using the Wilhelmy plate method. The interfacial properties were correlated to the percentage oil uptake by the coacervate phase. The relative hydrophobicity/lipophilicity of the oil influenced its uptake by complex coacervate droplets. The presence of surfactant affected oil uptake, depending on the HLB value of the surfactant or surfactant mixture. Uptake of squalane by the gelatin/acacia coacervates was found to be optimized by the addition of surfactants with HLB values in the range 2.5-6. The percentage uptake of oil decreased rapidly for systems prepared containing surfactants with HLB values outside this range. No correlation was observed between oil uptake by the coacervate phase and the interfacial tension of the oil and oil/surfactant systems with double-distilled deionized water.

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