Formation of curcumin nanoparticles via solution-enhanced dispersion by supercritical CO2

Zheng Zhao, Maobin Xie, Yi Li, Aizheng Chen, Gang Li, Jing Zhang, Huawen Hu, Xinyu Wang, Shipu Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

97 Citations (Scopus)


In order to enhance the bioavailability of poorly water-soluble curcumin, solution-enhanced dispersion by supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) (SEDS) was employed to prepare curcumin nanoparticles for the first time. A 24 full factorial experiment was designed to determine optimal processing parameters and their infuence on the size of the curcumin nanoparticles. Particle size was demonstrated to increase with increased temperature or fow rate of the solution, or with decreased precipitation pressure, under processing conditions with different parameters considered. The single effect of the concentration of the solution on particle size was not significant. Curcumin nanoparticles with a spherical shape and the smallest mean particle size of 325 nm were obtained when the following optimal processing conditions were adopted: P =20 MPa, T =35°C, fow rate of solution =0.5 mL⋅min-1, concentration of solution =0.5%. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy measurement revealed that the chemical composition of curcumin basically remained unchanged. Nevertheless, X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD) and thermal analysis indicated that the crystalline state of the original curcumin decreased after the SEDS process. The solubility and dissolution rate of the curcumin nanoparticles were found to be higher than that of the original curcumin powder (approximately 1.4 μg/mL vs 0.2 μg/mL in 180 minutes). This study revealed that supercritical CO2 technologies had a great potential in fabricating nanoparticles and improving the bioavailability of poorly water-soluble drugs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3171-3181
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Nanomedicine
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2015


  • Crystalline sate
  • Curcumin
  • Dissolution rate
  • Solubility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials
  • Drug Discovery
  • Organic Chemistry


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