Effect of β-sitosterol on precipitation of cholesterol from non-aqueous and aqueous solutions

L. Christiansen (Corresponding Author), M. Karjalainen, Tuulikki Seppänen-Laakso, R. Hiltunen, T. Yliruusi

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    35 Citations (Scopus)


    The aim of the present work was to study the solubility and phase behaviour of the β-sitosterol–cholesterol mixed crystals in the presence and absence of water. Cholesterol, β-sitosterol and 3:1, 1:1 and 1:3 mixtures of these were co-precipitated from acetone and acetone–water solutions. Precipitated crystals were analysed using powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), optical microscopy and Karl–Fischer titrimetry. The quantification of the sterols in solutions was preformed using GC–MS. The solubility of the sterols was mutually limiting. In the aqueous system, the solubility of both the sterols were significantly lower than in the absence of water, but the decrease in the solubility was considerably greater with the more hydrophobic β-sitosterol. In the aqueous system, the total sterol solubility decreased with the increasing proportion of β-sitosterol. The formation of new crystal structures, solid solutions of cholesterol and β-sitosterol, was observed in non-aqueous as well as in aqueous environments except with the lowest cholesterol proportion in the system, in which case mixed crystals with eutectic behaviour were formed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)155-166
    Number of pages12
    JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2003
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Cholesterol
    • beta-Sitosterol
    • Co-precipitation
    • Solubility


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