Design and development of nanoemulsions for feasible and efficient delivery of extracts from natural products
|Componenti strutturati del gruppo di ricerca
In this project, nanotechnology will be applied to the development of nanoformulations of extracts from natural products, such as essential oils. The formulation will be opportunely designed to enhance properties and effectiveness of essential oils in order to widen their application in pharmaceutical, cosmetics or food fields. To this end, different formulations and production processes will be evaluated with the final aim of maximizing the loading capacity of the formulation while maintaining unaltered the chemical composition of the essential oils. The majority of the techniques employed for the preparation of nanosystems, involve heating or solvent evaporation steps, which may lead to volatilisation and/or degradation of components of an essential oil, thus influencing its final composition and activity. For this reason, in this work special attention will be paid to the careful characterization of selected essential oils before and after nanoencapulation. The chemical profile of the extract will be traced to verify the possible or non-alteration of its chemical composition, in order to correlate the formulation constitution with its biological activity. So far, this aspect has not been much investigated. Many publications do not report any analytical assay generally assuming that the encapsulation does not involve any change in the composition of the extract. Therefore, the main endpoint of this project consists in the evaluation of the effect of formulation technology on the biological activity of essential oils in general and Lavandula x intermedia (lavandin) essential oil in particular. Different formulations will be designed and developed for lavandin essential oil, which possesses an interesting antibacterial activity. Therefore, all the formulations of lavandin essential oil will be evaluated in terms of physical-chemical properties, but also for the effect of the formulation technology on the composition and antibacterial activity of the essential oil.