Assessing the deformation of soft nano-assemblies under flow: cubosomes under shear stress

Small equipment, 2020


Project leader: Frédéric Gobeaux

Abstrac :

Cubosomes are stable dispersions of submicronic particles formulated from lipidic bicontinuous cubic phases. These particles present the advantages of a cubic liquid crystal (high internal specific surface) but their dispersions allows for a lower viscosity than the bulk phase. These particles arouse an increasing interest for their potential use in pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food applications. Indeed, the interwoven lipid bilayers define water channels that could be loaded by an active ingredient. Such a structure provides a significantly higher membrane surface area for the loading of membrane proteins and small drug molecules than classical liposomes.

However, the fate of such soft nanoparticles injected in the body is still poorly known. In particular, the effect of the shear stress arising from the blood flow has not yet been fully taken into consideration. To model this difficult question, we propose to perform in situ SAXS experiments under flow, using a shearing cell. This cell would allow applying comparable shear rates as in blood circulation on the nanoparticles while monitoring the evolution of the shape and structural parameters by SAXS.