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Biomimicry: An Approach for Oil Structuring

Lipids in the stratus corneum are predominately fatty acids, ceramides and cholesterol. They make up the intracellular matrix where corenocytes are embedded in the lipid matrix. Disproportion of the intracellular lipids gives rise to increased desiccation of the skin leading to various diseased states, such as psoriasis. Their ability to form supramolecular structures is an excellent starting point for a bottom-up nanofabrication. Examination of this system using ceramide III, stearic acid and β-sitosterol found numerous combinations that structure edible oils (i.e., canola oil) into solid-like fats. Varying the ratio of the polar lipids in relation to one and other saw various microstructures ranging from spherulites, to platelets, to fibers. Depending on the microstructural elements, the hardness and melting properties of gels varied greatly. It was found that at 8 wt% structurant the hardness of the gels varied from 102 to 105 Pa and the melting point varied from 42–48 °C. Further examination of this system is required as there are numerous other variables that will potentially influence the physical properties of the oleogel, such as: fatty acid chain length, degree of saturation, ceramide structure and sterol type.

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20 Sep 2017
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