Preparation and Characterization of Stabilizer-Free Phytantriol-Based Water-in-Oil Internally Liquid Crystalline Emulsions

Seyedeh Parinaz Akhlaghi*, Lia Beraldo da Silveira Balestrin, César Brinatti, Franz Pirolt, Watson Loh, Otto Glatter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite the widespread use of surfactants, there are known issues such as allergic reactions and formulation complications in their use as emulsion stabilizers. In this study, stabilizer-free water-in-oil (W/O) emulsions containing water, phytantriol, and almond oil were prepared by an ultra-turrax homogenizer, a standard laboratory equipment, and a high specialized high-shear device. Parameters such as mixing time, stirring rate, composition, order of addition of phases, and temperature were investigated to systematically optimize the preparation of the formulations through evaluating their accelerated physical stability by a centrifugal sedimentation technique. The liquid crystalline structure of the continuous phase was studied by small-angle X-ray scattering indicating a reverse hexagonal phase (H2). Microscopy images showed the emulsions prepared via high-shear method had smaller water droplets with more uniform shape and better dispersion as confirmed by Fourier-transform infrared–attenuated total reflection spectroscopy. Rheology studies showed a larger yield stress value for emulsions with higher content of phytantriol. Our results indicated that emulsions prepared by the high-shear device with higher amount of phytantriol were the most stable formulations. Applying the correct variables in the preparation of the stabilizer-free emulsions using ultra-turrax homogenizer, one could obtain similarly stable emulsions lacking the uniformity of the droplets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2024-2032
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • liquid crystal
  • LUMiSizer
  • phytantriol
  • small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS)
  • surfactant-free
  • water-in-oil (W/O) emulsion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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