New nanoscale emulsification science from MIT

By Deanna Utroske contact

- Last updated on GMT

New nanoscale emulsification science from MIT

Related tags: Liquid, Water, Emulsion

Researchers Ingrid Guha, Sushant Anand, and Kripa Varanasi have developed a scalable water-in-oil emulsification technique that doesn’t require mixing. And they believe that the new method has ready applications for cosmetics and personal care product formulating.

In an article published online this week in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Nature Communications, the team from MIT share their work on a new nanoscale emulsification technique using condensation.

As Ingrid Guha, Sushant Anand, and Kripa Varanasi describe the technique in the introduction to their published article, it’s “a bottom-up assembly approach to creating nanoscale emulsions that spontaneously separates condensed nanometric water droplets with thin films of oil as they nucleate.” 

And as Guha remarks in a press item about the research, this condensation technique can likely be used to emulsify more than just oil and water: “We envision that you could use multiple liquids and make much more complex emulsions,” ​she says.

Phase change

The new emulsification technique that the MIT researchers explain in the article seems pretty straightforward. Oil and surfactant are warmed up and then placed in a humid chamber. As the oil cools, the water vapor in the chamber condenses on the oil and disperse within it. “By cloaking the freshly condensed nanoscale water droplets with oil, we are taking advantage of the inherent nature of phase-change and spreading phenomena,”​ Varanasi tells the press.

How much surfactant is used determines the size of the condensed droplets. “We find that the oil-surfactant concentration controls the spreading behavior of oil on water, as well as the peak size, polydispersity, and stability of the resulting emulsions,” ​according to the article abstract.

And the team was able to create droplets so tiny that the resulting emulsion looks like a single liquid to the unaided eye and is even hard to detect under a microscope, as Guha points out.

Stability

The researches note that emulsions created with this condensation technique are stable enough to be used in formulations for products like some cosmetics and personal care items that are sold with an expiration date.

“Nanoscale emulsions formed via condensation remain dispersed for months,” ​according to the article introduction, “though dynamic light scattering (DLS) measurements performed after several months reveal that the peak radius and polydispersity may shift slightly over time.”

The article ‘Creating nanoscale emulsions using condensation’ is open access and can be found here​.

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

How Inventory Management Impacts Supply Chain

How Inventory Management Impacts Supply Chain

Oracle NetSuite | 12-Jan-2021 | Technical / White Paper

This ebook examines the role of inventory management in each step of the supply chain and shares best practices for how businesses can use inventory management...

Fight skin fatigue with NaturePep® Teff

Fight skin fatigue with NaturePep® Teff

TRI-K Industries Inc. | 14-Dec-2020 | Data Sheet

Introducing NaturePep® Teff, a unique new product from TRI-K Industries that targets aging and fatigued skin. NaturePep® Teff, part of TRI-K’s natural...

Lebermuth’s S/S 2022 Fragrance Trend Report

Lebermuth’s S/S 2022 Fragrance Trend Report

The Lebermuth Company | 09-Dec-2020 | Research Study

Explore your senses from around the world and uncover 8 new fragrances by Lebermuth's perfumers that were inspired by Spring & Summer 2022 consumer...

Related suppliers

Follow us

Products

View more

Webinars