High-throughput toxicity study of lubricant emulsions and their common ingredients using zebrafish.
ABSTRACT: Though lubricant emulsions have been widely used in many industrial processes, various human health hazards have been reported. Conducting a systematic toxicity study on emulsions is difficult since emulsions contain multiple chemical compounds, and hydrophobic compounds form complex emulsion particles via surfactants. For a quantitative toxicity study, we developed a high-throughput imaging system using zebrafish and conducted a large scale in vivo toxicity assay of lubricant emulsion and their common ingredients. By computing the locomotion activity of zebrafish from captured time-lapse images, we could quantify the degree of relative toxicity of 29 chemicals. The changes in the locomotion activity over time were observed to vary significantly depending on emulsions, indicating that the degree of toxicity of the commercial products was very diverse. We found that primary ethanolamines were more toxic than secondary or tertiary ethanolamines, and several factors, such as alkyl chain length, EO mole, test concentration, and emulsion particle size, affected toxicity.
Project description:Nanoscale emulsions are essential components in numerous products, ranging from processed foods to novel drug delivery systems. Existing emulsification methods rely either on the breakup of larger droplets or solvent exchange/inversion. Here we report a simple, scalable method of creating nanoscale water-in-oil emulsions by condensing water vapor onto a subcooled oil-surfactant solution. Our technique enables a bottom-up approach to forming small-scale emulsions. Nanoscale water droplets nucleate at the oil/air interface and spontaneously disperse within the oil, due to the spreading dynamics of oil on water. Oil-soluble surfactants stabilize the resulting emulsions. 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. Using condensation, we form emulsions with peak radii around 100?nm and polydispersities around 10%. This emulsion formation technique may open different routes to creating emulsions, colloidal systems, and emulsion-based materials.
Project description:We report on the preparation of a biopolymer thin film by hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC), which can be used as a dry green lubricant in sustainable manufacturing. The thin films were characterized through scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive spectroscopy, and Raman spectroscopy; the films showed desirable levels of thickness, controllability, and uniformity. Tribology tests also showed desirable tribological and antiwear behaviors, caused by the formation of transfer layers. Zebrafish embryo toxicity studies showed that HPMC has excellent solubility and biocompatibility, which may show outstanding potential for applications as a green lubricant. The results of the present study show that these techniques for biopolymer HPMC provide an ecologically responsible and convenient method for preparing functional thin films, which is particularly applicable to sustainable manufacturing.
Project description:Emulsions are metastable dispersions in which molecular transport is a major mechanism driving the system towards its state of minimal energy. Determining the underlying mechanisms of molecular transport between droplets is challenging due to the complexity of a typical emulsion system. Here we introduce the concept of 'minimal emulsions', which are controlled emulsions produced using microfluidic tools, simplifying an emulsion down to its minimal set of relevant parameters. We use these minimal emulsions to unravel the fundamentals of transport of small organic molecules in water-in-fluorinated-oil emulsions, a system of great interest for biotechnological applications. Our results are of practical relevance to guarantee a sustainable compartmentalization of compounds in droplet microreactors and to design new strategies for the dynamic control of droplet compositions.
Project description:Slippery lubricant-infused surfaces allow easy removal of liquid droplets on surfaces. They consist of textured or porous substrates infiltrated with a chemically compatible lubricant. Capillary forces help to keep the lubricant in place. Slippery surfaces hold promising prospects in applications including drag reduction in pipes or food packages, anticorrosion, anti-biofouling, or anti-icing. However, a critical drawback is that shear forces induced by flow lead to depletion of the lubricant. In this work, a way to overcome the shear-induced lubricant depletion by replenishing the lubricant from the flow of emulsions is presented. The addition of small amounts of positively charged surfactant reduces the charge repulsion between the negatively charged oil droplets contained in the emulsion. Attachment and coalescence of oil droplets from the oil-in-water emulsion at the substrate surface fills the structure with the lubricant. Flow-induced lubrication of textured surfaces can be generalized to a broad range of lubricant-solid combinations using minimal amounts of oil.
Project description:Squalene-based oil-in-water emulsions have been used for years in some seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccines. However, concerns have been expressed regarding squalene source and potential biological activities. Little information is available regarding the immunomodulatory activity of squalene in comparison with other metabolizable oils in the context of oil-in-water emulsions formulated with vaccines. The present work describes the manufacture and physical characterization of emulsions composed of different classes of oils, including squalene, long chain triglycerides, a medium chain triglyceride, and a perfluorocarbon, all emulsified with egg phosphatidylcholine. Some differences were apparent among the non-squalene oils in terms of emulsion stability, including higher size polydispersity in the perfluorocarbon emulsion, more rapid visual instability at 60°C for the long-chain triglyceride and perfluorocarbon emulsions, and an increased creaming rate in the medium-chain triglyceride emulsion at 60°C as detected by laser scattering optical profiling. The biological activity of each of these emulsions was compared when formulated with either a recombinant malaria antigen or a split-virus inactivated influenza vaccine. Overall, vaccines containing the squalene emulsion elicited higher antibody titers and more abundant long-lived plasma cells than vaccines containing emulsions based on other oils. Since squalene-based emulsions show higher adjuvant potency compared to the other oils tested, non-squalene oils may be more suitable as carriers of amphiphilic or hydrophobic immunostimulatory molecules (such as TLR agonists) rather than as stand-alone adjuvants.
Project description:Like charges stabilize emulsions, whereas opposite charges break emulsions. This is the fundamental principle for many industrial and practical processes. Using micrometer-sized pH-sensitive polymeric hydrogel particles as emulsion stabilizers, we prepare emulsions that consist of oppositely charged droplets, which do not coalesce. We observe noncoalescence of oppositely charged droplets in bulk emulsification as well as in microfluidic devices, where oppositely charged droplets are forced to collide within channel junctions. The results demonstrate that electrostatic interactions between droplets do not determine their stability and reveal the unique pH-dependent properties of emulsions stabilized by soft microgel particles. The noncoalescence can be switched to coalescence by neutralizing the microgels, and the emulsion can be broken on demand. This unusual feature of the microgel-stabilized emulsions offers fascinating opportunities for future applications of these systems.
Project description:Egg phosphatidylcholine is commonly used as an emulsifier in formulations administered parenterally. However, synthetic phosphatidylcholine (PC) emulsifiers are now widely available and may be desirable substitutes for egg-derived phospholipids due to stability, purity, and material source considerations. In earlier work, we demonstrated that a squalene-1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC) emulsion provided equivalent physical stability compared to a squalene-egg PC emulsion. In the present manuscript, we evaluate the physical stability of vaccine adjuvant emulsions containing a range of other synthetic phosphatidylcholine emulsifiers. Besides the POPC emulsion, the 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DMPC) emulsion showed good particle size and visual stability compared to emulsions made with other synthetic phospholipids. Moreover, comparable immune responses were elicited by squalene emulsions employing various synthetic PC or egg PC emulsifiers in combination with an inactivated influenza vaccine or a recombinant malaria antigen, and these responses were generally enhanced compared to antigen without adjuvant. Therefore, we show that (1) some synthetic PCs (DMPC, POPC, and to a lesser extent 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine) are effective stabilizers of squalene emulsion over a range of storage temperatures while others are not (1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine, 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine, and 1,2-dilauroyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine) and (2) the immunogenicity of stable squalene emulsions is similar regardless of PC source.
Project description:A series of alkyl chain modified graphene oxides (AmGO) with different alkyl chain length and content was fabricated using a reducing reaction between graphene oxide (GO) and alkyl amine. Then AmGO was used as a graphene-based particle emulsifier to stabilize Pickering emulsion. Compared with the emulsion stabilized by GO, which was oil-in-water type, all the emulsions stabilized by AmGO were water-in-oil type. The effects of alkyl chain length and alkyl chain content on the emulsion properties of AmGO were investigated. The emulsions stabilized by AmGO showed good stability within a wide range of pH (from pH = 1 to pH = 13) and salt concentrations (from 0.1 to 1000 mM). In addition, the application of water-in-oil emulsions stabilized by AmGO was investigated. AmGO/polyaniline nanocomposite (AmGO/PANi) was prepared through an emulsion approach, and its supercapacitor performance was investigated. This research broadens the application of AmGO as a water-in-oil type emulsion stabilizer and in preparing graphene-based functional materials.
Project description:Strategies for the facile fabrication of nanoscale materials and devices represent an increasingly important challenge for chemists. Here, we report a simple, one-pot procedure for the formation of perfluorocarbon emulsions with defined functionalization. The fluorous core allows for small molecules containing a fluorous tail to be stabilized inside the emulsions. The emulsions can be formed using a variety of hydrophilic polymers resulting in an array of sizes (90 nm to >1 micron) and surface charges (-95 mV to 65 mV) of fluid particles. The surface of the emulsions can be further functionalized, covalently or non-covalently, through in situ or post-emulsion modification. The total preparation time is 30 minutes or less from commercially available reagents without specialized equipment. We envision these emulsions to be applicable to both biological and materials systems.
Project description:Multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) were incorporated into highly concentrated water-in-oil emulsions with the ultimate aim of achieving a uniform and effective dispersion of MWCNTs within the emulsion matrix. The emulsion was formulated in such a way, wherein the internal phase consists of higher than 90 wt %. By keeping the same aqueous-to-oil phase ratio, the amount of MWCNTs in the oil phase was systematically adjusted to investigate their effects on the microstructure development and rheological behavior of the emulsion. The addition of MWCNTs led to a reduced droplet size and also resulted in a narrower distribution of the droplet size. The rheological behavior of nanotube-incorporated emulsions was characterized with varying MWCNT concentrations and also as a function of the emulsification time. The rheological characteristics of the nanotube-incorporated emulsions were identical to those of the neat emulsion and were primarily governed by the variation in the droplet size and droplet-size distribution. However, the yield strain and cross-over strain were independent of the mean droplet size and polydispersity of the emulsion. Emulsions that have smaller droplets exhibited higher storage modulus (G'), yield stress (?Y), and apparent viscosity (?). For all refining times investigated, nanotube-incorporated emulsions have higher G', ?Y, and ? values when compared to the neat emulsion, and these values further increased with the MWCNT concentration. This was primarily due to the decrease in the droplet size with MWCNT addition. Furthermore, our findings suggest that the incorporated MWCNTs did not induce any significant change in the rheological behavior of emulsions with identical droplet sizes, and it remained essentially unchanged with the concentration of MWCNTs. However, the nanotube-incorporated emulsions possessed solidlike behavior up to a higher applied stress when compared to a neat emulsion of identical droplet size.