Bicontinuous cubic liquid crystalline phase nanoparticles stabilized by softwood hemicellulose

Polina Naidjonoka, Marco Fornasier, David Pålsson, Gregor Rudolph, Basel Al-Rudainy, Sergio Murgia, Tommy Nylander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The colloidal stability of lipid based cubosomes, aqueous dispersion of inverse bicontinuous cubic phase, can be significantly increased by a stabilizer. The most commonly used stabilizers are non-ionic tri-block copolymers, poloxamers, which adsorb at the lipid-water interface and hence sterically stabilize the dispersion. One of the challenges with these synthetic polymers is the effect on the internal structure of the cubosomes and the potential toxicity when these nanoparticles are applied as nanomedicine platforms. The natural polysaccharide, softwood hemicellulose, has been proved to be an excellent stabilizer for oil-in-water emulsions, partially due to the presence of hydrophobic lignin in the extract which to some extent is associated to hemicellulose. Herein, we reported for the first time cubosomes stabilized by two types of softwood hemicelluloses, where one is extracted through thermomechanical pulping (TMP, low lignin content) and the other obtained from sodium-based sulfite liquor (SSL, high lignin content). The effect of the two hemicellulose samples on the colloidal stability and structure of monoolein-based cubosomes have been investigated via DLS, SAXS, AFM and cryo-TEM. The data obtained suggest that both types of the hemicelluloses stabilize monoolein (GMO) based cubosomes in water without significantly affecting their size, morphology and inner structure. SSL-extracted hemicellulose yields the most stable cubosomes, likely due to the higher content of lignin in comparison to TMP-stabilized ones. In addition, the stability of these particles was tested under physiological conditions relevant to possible application as drug carriers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111753
JournalColloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Polymer Chemistry
  • Polymer Technologies

Free keywords

  • Cubosomes
  • Hemicellulose
  • Lignin
  • Stabilizer


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