Researchers at the University of Massachusetts, USA, have recently filed a patent to make (ultra-fine) nanoemulsions for pharmaceutical and cosmetic use which help the body absorb treatments more easily. One unexpected finding is that these nanoemulsions are also sterile - bacteria-free. This property will considerably lengthen the shelf-life of such products.
Emulsions are mixtures of two liquids which don't really mix like oil and water. They are created by suspending globules of one liquid in another. Previously the only way to make fine emulsions was to grind mixtures to make the particles smaller. The new method makes nanoemulsions by passing the liquid mix through a type of atomiser at high pressure (1700 atmospheres). The resulting turbulence breaks up the large bubbles of liquid into smaller nano bubbles. Robert Nicolosi, the lead scientist thinks the bacteria are killed by the turbulence.