Surfactant and temperature effects on paraben transport through silicone membranes

Laura J. Waters, Laura Dennis, Aisha Bibi, John C. Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigates the effects of two surfactants (one anionic and one non-ionic) and controlled modifications in temperature (298-323. K) on the permeation of two structurally similar compounds through a silicone membrane using a Franz diffusion cell system.In all cases the presence of an anionic surfactant, namely sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS), reduced the permeation of both compounds (methylparaben and ethylparaben) over a period of 24. h. The degree of permeation reduction was proportional to the concentration of surfactant with a maximum effect observed, with an average reduction of approximately 50%, at the highest surfactant concentration of 20. mM. Differences were seen around the critical micelle concentration (CMC) of SDS implying the effect was partially connected with the favoured formation of micelles. In contrast, the presence of non-ionic surfactant (Brij 35) had no effect on the permeation of methylparaben or ethylparaben at any of the concentrations investigated, both above and below the CMC of the surfactant. From these findings the authors conclude that the specific effects of SDS are a consequence of ionic surfactant-silicone interactions retarding the movement of paraben through the membrane through indirect modifications to the surface of the membrane.As expected, an increase in experimental temperature appeared to enhance the permeation of both model compounds, a finding that is in agreement with previously reported data. Interestingly, in the majority of cases this effect was optimum at the second highest temperature studied (45 °C) which suggests that permeation is a temperature-dependent phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-28
Number of pages6
JournalColloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces
Early online date6 Mar 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2013


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