Formation of zein microphases in ethanol-water

Yi Wang, Graciela W. Padua

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Zein, a major protein of corn, is soluble in binary mixtures of ethanol and water. It has an amphiphilic character and is capable of self-assembly into nano- and microsized rods, spheres, and films upon solvent evaporation. The formation of microspheres is of particular interest for the development of delivery systems. Control over structure formation requires a better understanding of zein behavior in solution. The objective of this work was to investigate the effect of zein concentration and the effect of ethanol-water ratio on the microphase behavior of zein solutions, believed to govern the morphology of microstructures after solvent evaporation. The Flory-Huggins solution theory was applied to model boundary lines between microphases in solution. The study generated information on the zein concentration-ethanol/ water ratio conditions where microspheres are formed and provided insight into the microphase behavior of zein ethanolic solutions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12897-12901
Number of pages5
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 3 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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