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Open AccessArticle

Surface Heterogeneous Nucleation-Mediated Release of Beta-Carotene from Porous Silicon

Nanoscience Laboratory, Department of Physics, University of Trento, 38123 Povo, Trento, Italy
Laboratory of Organic Chemistry, Wageningen University, Stippeneng 4, 6708 Wageningen, The Netherlands
Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia
School of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technology, Tianjin University, 92 Weijin Road, Tianjin 300072, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(9), 1659;
Received: 21 July 2020 / Revised: 10 August 2020 / Accepted: 20 August 2020 / Published: 24 August 2020
We demonstrate that the release of a poorly soluble molecule from nanoporous carriers is a complex process that undergoes heterogeneous surface nucleation events even under significantly diluted release conditions, and that those events heavily affect the dynamics of release. Using beta-carotene and porous silicon as loaded molecule and carrier model, respectively, we show that the cargo easily nucleates at the pore surface during the release, forming micro- to macroscopic solid particles at the pores surface. These particles dissolve at a much slower pace, compared to the rate of dissolution of pure beta-carotene in the same solvent, and they negatively affect the reproducibility of the release experiments, possibly because their solubility depends on their size distribution. We propose to exploit this aspect to use release kinetics as a better alternative to the induction time method, and to thereby detect heterogenous nucleation during release experiments. In fact, release dynamics provide much higher sensitivity and reproducibility as they average over the entire sample surface instead of depending on statistical analysis over a small area to find clusters. View Full-Text
Keywords: porous silicon; heterogeneous nucleation; drug delivery; carotene; nanopores porous silicon; heterogeneous nucleation; drug delivery; carotene; nanopores
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MDPI and ACS Style

Piotto, C.; Pujari, S.P.; Zuilhof, H.; Bettotti, P. Surface Heterogeneous Nucleation-Mediated Release of Beta-Carotene from Porous Silicon. Nanomaterials 2020, 10, 1659.

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