is a type of emulsion
in which the sizes of the particles in the dispersed phase are defined as less than 1000 nanometers. In medicine, a nanoemulsion of soybean
oil to create drops of 400-600 nanometers
in diameter will kill many pathogens such as bacteria
and viruses. The process is not chemical, as with other types of
anti-pathogenic treatments, but physical. The smaller the droplet, the
greater the surface tension and thus the greater the
force to merge with other lipids.
The oil is emulsified with detergents to stabilize the emulsion (the droplets won't merge with one
another), so when they encounter lipids
on a bacterial membrane
or a virus
envelope, they force the lipids
to merge with themselves. On a mass scale, this effectively disintegrates the
and kills the pathogen.