Synthesis of Multilamellar Walls Vesicles (MLWV) Polyelectrolyte Surfactant Complexes (PESCs) from pH-Stimulated Phase Transition Using Microbial Biosurfactants

Multilamellar wall vesicles (MLWV) are an interest class of polyelectrolyte-surfactant complexes (PESCs) for the wide applications ranging from house-care to biomedical products. If MLWV are generally obtained by a polyelectrolyte-driven vesicle agglutination under pseudoequilibrium conditions, the resulting phase is often a mixture of more than one structure. In this work, we show that MLWV can be massively and reproductively prepared from a recentlydeveloped method involving a pH-stimulated phase transition from a complex coacervate phase (Co). We employ a biobased pH-sensitive microbial glucolipid biosurfactant in the presence of a natural, or synthetic, polyamine (chitosan, poly-L-Lysine, polyethylene imine, polyallylamine). In situ small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM) show a systematic isostructural and isodimensional transition from the Co to the MLWV phase, while optical microscopy under polarized light experiments and cryo-TEM reveal a massive, virtually quantitative, presence of MLWV. Finally, the multilamellar wall structure is not perturbed by filtration and sonication, two typical methods employed to control size distribution in vesicles. In summary, this work highlights a new, robust, non-equilibrium phase-change method to develop biobased multilamellar wall vesicles, promising soft colloids with applications in the field of personal care, cosmetics and pharmaceutics among many others.