Rheological Investigation of Self-emulsification Process: Effect of Co-surfactant

Shailesh V Biradar1, Ravindra S Dhumal1, Ananat R. Paradkar2

1Department of Pharmaceutics, Bharati Vidyapeeth University, Poona College of Pharmacy, Erandwane, Pune, M.S., India
2Department of Pharmaceutics, Bharati Vidyapeeth University, Poona College of Pharmacy, Erandwane, Pune, M.S., India; and University of Bradford, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom


The aim of study is to investigate role of co-surfactant in self-emulsification through rheological analysis of intermediate liquid crystalline (LC) phase formed during self-emulsification.

To mixture of Captex® 200P (C200) and tween 80 (T80) (SES Plain), either medium hydrocarbon chain co-surfactant (Capmul® MCM (CMCM): SES C) or long hydrocarbon chain co-surfactant (Peceol® (P): SES P) was added separately at different concentration levels. Self-emulsification was monitored by visual observations, turbidimetric and droplet size measurement. Mesophases were obtained by 30% v/v aqueous hydration of SES and characterized by polarizing microscopy, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and rheological studies.

SES Plain exhibited ‘bad’ emulsification owing to instantaneous gel formation in aqueous media. Almost all SES C have shown ‘good’ emulsification with transparent appearance, very low turbidity value and nano size droplets. All SES P presented ‘moderate’ emulsification with milky appearance, high turbidity value and coarse droplets. Polarizing microscopy revealed formation of lamellar phase in SES Plain and in all SES P while almost all SES C exhibited formation of micellar cubic phase. In DSC studies, higher extent of LC phase formation was observed in SES C as compared to SES P. Rheological study clearly demonstrated presence of elastic and partially recoverable mesophase in SES Plain, which was transformed into a viscous and non-recovering mesophase with addition of CMCM while there was no change in rheological status of SES Plain after addition of P. The weak and viscous LC phase in SES C must have not presented any resistance to strain induced deformation. Therefore, it might have ruptured easily and quickly, releasing jet of nanosize droplets whereas elastic mesophase in SES P might have ruptured with little resistance resulting in coarse droplets.

The ability of co-surfactant to promote self-emulsification was attributed to their influence on viscoelastic properties of intermediate LC phase.

J Pharm Pharm Sci, 12 (2): 164-174, 2009

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