Many active ingredients like drugs, preservatives and vitamins are hydrophobic. In most applications for food and pharma, however, they need to be functional in aqueous environments. In order to facilitate their usage in aqueous environments one needs a way to enable the dispersion of hydrophobic compounds into submicron particles in water in a controlled manner. We investigated the stabilization by surfactants and encapsulation into colloidal particles of hydrophobic compounds using the nanoprecipitation method.
For water-soluble surfactants as stabilizers a new theory was developed to relate the process parameters to the final particle size. For non-water-soluble surfactants self-consistent field theory was used in order to unravel the structure-function relationship between used copolymer chemistry and the form and morphology of the obtained particles, spherical micelles and their size. Using the nanoprecipitation method this results in (nano)particles which can be used in the pharma and food industry.