Nanostructured liquid-crystalline systems containing natural compounds

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Liquid-crystalline systems are structures that represent an intermediate physical state between isotropic liquid and solid crystal. This particularity brings interesting characteristics of both states such as improved stability, molecular organization, high solubilization potential, diffusion control, and interaction with biological membranes, among others. This chapter describes the structure of liquid-crystalline systems, their classification according to the kind of molecular organization, the material that could be used for liquid crystal formation, the techniques that are applied for characterization, and the process of production. Moreover, the potential of nanostructured liquid-crystalline systems for the delivery of natural products, especially plant-based formulations, is discussed, highlighting the actual state of the art and examples from the literature. Finally, future prospectives for research and application of nanostructured liquid-crystalline systems as formulation of medicines and cosmetic products discussed.
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