Triple-Emulsion-Based Antibubbles: A Step Forward in Fabricating Novel Multi-Drug Delivery Systems

Rabia Zia, Albert T Poortinga, Akmal Nazir, Salahdein Aburuz, Cornelus F van Nostrum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Developing carriers capable of efficiently transporting both hydrophilic and lipophilic payloads is a captivating focus within the pharmaceutical and drug delivery research domain. Antibubbles, constituting an innovative encapsulation system designed for drug delivery purposes, have garnered scientific interest thanks to their distinctive water-in-air-in-water (W 1/A/W 2) structure. However, in contrast to their precursor, i.e., nanoparticle-stabilized W 1/O/W 2 double emulsion, traditional antibubbles lack the ability to accommodate a lipophilic payload, as the intermediary (volatile) oil layer of the emulsion is replaced by air during the antibubble fabrication process. Therefore, here, we report the fabrication of triple-emulsion-based antibubbles (O 1/W 1/A/W 2), in which the inner aqueous phase was loaded with a nanoemulsion stabilized by various proteins, including whey, soy, or pea protein isolates. As model drugs, we employed the dyes Nile red in the oil phase and methylene blue in the aqueous phase. The produced antibubbles were characterized regarding their size distribution, entrapment efficiency, and stability. The produced antibubbles demonstrated substantial entrapment efficiencies for both lipophilic (ranging from 80% to 90%) and hydrophilic (ranging from 70% to 82%) components while also exhibiting an appreciable degree of stability during an extended rehydration period of two weeks. The observed variations among different antibubble variants were primarily attributed to differences in protein concentration rather than the type of protein used.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2757
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2023


  • triple emulsion
  • Pickering emulsion
  • nano-emulsion
  • proteins
  • antibubbles
  • drug delivery


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