Production of polycaprolactone nanoparticles with low polydispersity index in a tubular recirculating system by using a multifactorial design of experiments

G. Colmenares, L. Agudelo, R. Pinal, L. Hoyos
Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana,
Colombia

Keywords: polymer nanoparticles, nanocapsules, nanoprecipitation, polymers

Summary:

Encapsulation and controlled release of substances using polymeric nanoparticles require that these have a high reproducibility, homogeneity, and control over their properties (diameter and polydispersity), especially when they are to be used in medical, pharmaceutical or nutritional applications among others. By conventional production systems, it is difficult to ensure these features and the cost increases when trying to promote these. This work shows a recirculating system for producing polymeric nanoparticles that can easily control the characteristics of nanoparticles and does not require specialized equipment. In previous works, we evaluate the effect of recirculating flow, the ratio between the organic and aqueous phase, the type of surfactant (surfactants with different levels of hydrophobic and lipophilic balance HLB), the effect of molecular weight of the polymer and different type of polymers like PLGA, Polycaprolactone and Chitosan. For this work, we evaluated the effect of polymer (Polycaprolactone with a molecular weight of 14000 g*mol-1) and surfactant (Tween 80 with HLB =15) concentration using a multifactorial design of experiments. The response of the design was the average diameter of the nanoparticles and polydispersity index. Finally, we found that the polymer and surfactant concentration could change the average diameter and polydispersity index of the nanoparticles obtained. On the other hand, it was found that the effect of the polymer concentration was stronger than surfactant concentration to reduce the average diameter of the nanoparticles. The results of the present work show that the proposed recirculation system presents a high potential to produce polymeric nanoparticles with good morphological characteristics and particle size distributions in the nano range with a low polydispersity index.