Zein is an amphiphilic protein capable of selfassembly into microspheres. Zein microspheres may form by evaporation-induced self-assembly (EISA) of zein solutions in ethanol/water. The formation of microspheres is of particular interest for the development of delivery systems. Zein solutions in ethanol/water 75 % (v/v) were slowly evaporated to promote self-assembly of microspheres. The ethanol content of the solvent decreased during EISA changing solvent polarity which induced self-assembly of zein particles. The growth of zein spheres was modeled from the hydrophobic and hydrophilic contributions to the interfacial free energy (R200.92). The good fit indicated that during EISA zein microspheres increased in size due to hydrophobic interactions between zein molecules. The model may allow the prediction of evaporation time and thus control over microsphere size.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Polymers and Plastics
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry
- Materials Chemistry