Indexed on: 01 Nov '06Published on: 01 Nov '06Published in: Langmuir
Phytantriol (3,7,11,15-tetramethylhexadecane-1,2,3-triol, PHYT) is a cosmetic ingredient that exhibits similar lyotropic phase behavior to monoolein (GMO), forming bicontinuous cubic liquid crystalline structures (Q(II)) at low temperatures and reversed hexagonal phase (H(II)) at higher temperatures in excess water. Despite these similarities, phytantriol has received little attention in the scientific community. In this study, the thermal phase behavior of the binary PHYT-water and ternary PHYT-vitamin E acetate (VitEA)-water systems have been studied and compared with the behavior of the dispersed cubosomes and hexosomes formed with the aid of a stabilizer (Pluronic F127). The phase behavior and nanostructure were studied using crossed polarized light microscopy (CPLM), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) techniques. The presence of lipophilic VitEA in the PHYT-water system suppressed the temperature of the Q(II)-to-H(II)-to-L2 transitions, indicating that lipophilic compounds, in relatively small amounts, may have a significant impact on the phase behavior. Increasing the F127 concentration in the phytantriol-based cubosome system did not induce the Q(II)(Pn3m) to Q(II)(Im3m) transition known for the GMO-water system. This indicates a different mode of interaction between F127 and the lipid domains of phytantriol-water systems. Taken together, these results indicate that phytantriol may not only provide an alternative lipid for preparation of liquid crystalline systems in excess water but may also provide access to properties not available when using GMO.