Nanoprecipitation by solvent shifting is widely used (most often empirically) to prepare organic nanoparticles in pharmaceuticals. It results from spontaneous emulsification in ternary systems of the kind: water/miscible solvent/hydrophobic solute, and often yield submicronic droplets (~100 nm) of low dispersity. These systems are also called "Ouzo" systems in reference to the aniseed drink which also emulsifies spontaneously .
We will show how the co-nanoprecipitation of a hydrophobic solute and inorganic nanoparticles allows to obtain capsules made of an organic core coated with inorganic nanoparticles, that we named « Hybridosomes » [2–4]. Depending on the composition of the mixture, Ouzo systems can form Surfactant Free Micro-Emulsions (SFME) or submicronic metastable emulsions. A study based on both structural and stability analyses has allowed us to define a methodology for the construction of their phase diagrams and to predict the domains where Hybridosomes can be obtained, as well as their morphology and composition of their core . Nanoparticles limit the coalescence of Ouzo emulsions, as in the case of Pickering emulsions. Nanoparticles and continuous shells can also be synthesized in-situ, by interfacial reduction directly in the emulsion .
Several applications of Hybridosomes are under study , including their use as nanoresonators for optical metamaterials (generation of optical magnetism) and sensitization of radiotherapy.
Keywords: Ouzo emulsions; Hybrid capsules; Nanoprecipitation.
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