Spectroscopic Quantification of Surfactants in Solid Lipid Nanoparticles

  • Zhengwei Huang
  • Mingjun Wu
  • Cheng Ma
  • Xuequn Bai
  • Xuejuan Zhang
  • Ziyu Zhao
  • Ying HuangEmail author
  • Xin Pan
  • Chuanbin Wu
Research Article



Solid lipid nanoparticles (SLN) mainly consist of lipids and surfactants. However, the toxicity of surfactant cannot be ignored, as the surfactant may cause unexpected side effect. This study established model SLN with different surfactants, Tween 80 (T80) and poloxamer 188 (P188). It was aimed to establish ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) spectroscopy methods for quantifying the contents of T80 and P188 in the model SLN.


The model SLN were produced by emulsification-precipitation method, and their particle size distribution was analyzed. The calibration curves for the contents of T80 and P188 were established. Surfactants in the model SLN were extracted by ultrasonication, and UV-Vis spectroscopy methods were utilized for quantification of surfactants in SLN.


The deviation of precision and accuracy in P188 and T80 assay were acceptable, which indicated the method could be employed in sample quantification. Ten minutes was considered as the optimal ultrasonication time. And the contents of P188 and T80 were successfully measured by the established UV-Vis methods.


The UV-Vis spectroscopy methods were developed for the quantification of T80 and P188 in the model SLN. It is expected that the methods could be extended to more SLN systems and applied for the quantification of other surfactants.


Solid lipid nanoparticles Surfactant Ultraviolet-visible Quantification Quality control 



The authors would like to appreciate Mr. Yinan Pan and Mr. Jiaye Li from School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University for their voluntary assistant in the experiments.

Authors’ Contribution

Z. Huang designed the study, analyzed the data, and wrote the manuscript. M. Wu and C. Ma performed the experiments and prepared the artworks. X. Bai revised the manuscript and assisted in the data interpretation. X. Zhang and Z. Zhao revised and proof-read the manuscript. Y. Huang participated in experimental design and data analysis. X. Pan and C. Wu supervised the study and polished and proof-read the manuscript.

Funding Information

This work received financial support from National Science Foundation of China (No. 81673375 and 81703431), 111 project (No. B16047), and Sun Yat-sen University (No. 16ykpy23).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

12247_2019_9379_MOESM1_ESM.docx (28 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 28 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Pharmaceutical SciencesSun Yat-Sen UniversityGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Institute for Biomedical and Pharmaceutical SciencesGuangdong University of TechnologyGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of Pharmacology, Zhongshan School of MedicineSun Yat-Sen UniversityGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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