Lipid-based liquid crystalline materials are being developed as drug delivery systems. However, the use of these materials for delivery of large macromolecules is currently hindered by the small size of the water channels in these structures limiting control over diffusion behaviour. The addition of the hydration-modulating agent, sucrose stearate, to phytantriol cubic phase under excess water conditions incrementally increased the size of these water channels. Inclusion of oleic acid enabled further control of swelling and de-swelling of the matrix via a pH triggerable system where at low pH the hexagonal phase is present and at higher pH the cubic phase is present. Fine control over the release of various sized model macromolecules is demonstrated, indicating future application to controlled loading and release of large macromolecules such as antibodies.
- Cubic phase
- Hexagonal phase
- Stimuli responsive liquid-crystal