Crystal polymorphs as Pickering Emulsion stabilisers and novel stimuli-responsive delivery vehicles.

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: Chemical and Process Engineering


The project will attempt to address the research question of how polymorphs of natural, biocompatible crystals can be used to sustainably deliver active ingredients and improve the stability of oil in water Pickering emulsions. The necessary aims to achieve such goal are:
Aim 1: to develop a mechanistic approach to understanding the relationship between the structure and surface chemistry of different polymorphs of organic crystals and their behaviour at liquid-liquid interfaces.
Aim 2: to evaluate the how different polymorphs of organic natural compounds can be used to design stimuli-responsive emulsions.
The objectives associated to each aim are:
Objective 1: Determine how the specific intermolecular interactions in organic crystal polymorphs, co-crystals or solvates affect particle surface chemistry and behaviour of the crystals at liquid-liquid interfaces.
0bjective 2: Determine how particles properties such as crystal structure, size and shape affect the emulsion stability.
Objective 3: Design formulations capable of solid form transformation-triggered release of encapsulated active ingredients.

The main goal of this project is to design novel, sustainable and stimuli-responsive formulations that can be used in agrochemical, food and pharmaceutical products. Additionally, the project will generate fundamental knowledge for the benefits of crystal engineers in the fields of material science, product/process design and biomineralization, to name a few. Such knowledge will enable rational design of new crystalline materials with targeted physical and chemical properties; it will also allow better understanding of real crystallization processes, taking place in complex media, such as food and agrochemical crystallization or the formation of bones and seashells. Such understanding will enable development of novel bio-inspired materials and design of industrial processes with higher productivity and yields.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/S022473/1 01/04/2019 30/09/2027
2273495 Studentship EP/S022473/1 01/10/2019 30/09/2023 Janine Preston