Real-Time Visualization of the Precipitation and Phase Behavior of Octaethylporphyrin in Lipid Microparticles.
The material properties of micro- and nanoparticles are fundamental for their bulk properties in suspension, like their stability and encapsulation efficiency. A particularly interesting system with potential biomedical applications is the encapsulation of hydrophobic porphyrins into lipid particles and their use as metal atom chelators, where retention and stability are keys for the design process. The overall goal here was to study the solubility, phase behavior, and mixing of octaethylporphyrin (OEP) and OEP-Cu chelates with 2 core materials, triolein (TO) and cholesteryl acetate, as single microparticles. We employed a real-time, single-particle microscopic technique based on micropipette injection to characterize the behavior of these materials and their mixtures upon solvent loss and precipitation. A clear phase separation was observed between the triolein liquid core and porphyrin microcrystals, and the ternary phase diagram of the droplet compositions and onsets of phase separation over solvent dissolution was built. On the contrary, cholesteryl acetate and OEP-Cu coprecipitated by solvent dissolution, preventing porphyrin crystallization even for very high supersaturations. This type of real-time, single-particle characterization is expected to offer important information about the formulation of other hydrophobic compounds of interest, where finding the proper encapsulation environment is a key step for their retention and stability.
Parra, E; Hervella, P; Needham, D
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