Polyelectrolyte stabilized drug nanoparticles via flash nanoprecipitation: A model study with β-carotene

Zhengxi Zhu, Katrin Margulis-Goshen, Shlomo Magdassi, Yeshayahu Talmon, Christopher W. Macosko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Polyelectrolyte protected β-carotene nanoparticles (nanosuspensions) with average diameter of <100 nm were achieved by turbulent mixing and flash nanoprecipitation (FNP). Three types of multi-amine functional polyelectrolytes, ε-polylysine (ε-PL), poly(ethylene imine) (PEI), and chitosan, were investigated to electrosterically protect the nanoparticles. Particle size and distribution were measured by dynamic light scattering (DLS); particles were imaged via scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM). Low pH and high polyelectrolyte molecular weight gave the smallest and most stable particles. High drug loading capacity, >80 wt%, was achieved by using either PEI or chitosan. X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns showed that β-carotene nanoparticles were amorphous. These findings open the way for utilization of FNP for preparation of nanoparticles with enhanced bioavailability for highly water insoluble drugs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4295-4306
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2010


  • Biodegradable polymers
  • Formulation
  • Light-scattering
  • Mixing
  • Nanoparticles
  • Nanosuspensions
  • Polyelectrolytes
  • Polymeric drug delivery systems
  • Stabilization
  • Supersaturation

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Polyelectrolyte stabilized drug nanoparticles via flash nanoprecipitation: A model study with β-carotene'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this