Langmuir, Vol.24, No.11, 5672-5675, 2008
Encapsulation of curcumin in cationic micelles suppresses alkaline hydrolysis
The alkaline hydrolysis of curcumin was studied in three types of micelles composed of the cationic surfactants cetyl trimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) and dodecyl trimethylammonium bromide (DTAB) and the anionic surfactant sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS). At pH 13, curcumin undergoes rapid degradation by alkaline hydrolysis in the SDS micellar solution. In contrast, alkaline hydrolysis of curcumin is greatly suppressed in the presence of either CTAB or DTAB micelles, with a yield of suppression close to 90%. The results from fluorescence spectroscopic studies reveal that while curcumin remains encapsulated in C-TAB and DTAB micelles at pH 13, curcumin is dissociated from the SDS micelles to the aqueous phase at this pH. The absence of encapsulation and stabilization in the SDS micellar solution results in rapid hydrolysis of curcumin.