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Lipid Nanoparticles For The Delivery Of Poorly Water-soluble Drugs

Heike Bunjes

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Abstract Objectives This review discusses important aspects of lipid nanoparticles such as colloidal lipid emulsions and, in particular, solid lipid nanoparticles as carrier systems for poorly water-soluble drugs, with a main focus on the parenteral and peroral use of these carriers. Key findings A short historical background of the development of colloidal lipid emulsions and solid lipid nanoparticles is provided and their similarities and differences are highlighted. With regard to drug incorporation, parameters such as the chemical nature of the particle matrix and the physicochemical nature of the drug, effects of drug partition and the role of the particle interface are discussed. Since, because of the crystalline nature of their lipid core, solid lipid nanoparticles display some additional important features compared to emulsions, their specificities are introduced in more detail. This mainly includes their solid state behaviour (crystallinity, polymorphism and thermal behaviour) and the consequences of their usually non-spherical particle shape. Since lipid nanoemulsions and -suspensions are also considered as potential means to alter the pharmacokinetics of incorporated drug substances, some underlying basic considerations, in particular concerning the drug-release behaviour of such lipid nanodispersions on dilution, are addressed as well. Conclusions Colloidal lipid emulsions and solid lipid nanoparticles are interesting options for the delivery of poorly water-soluble drug substances. Their specific physicochemical properties need, however, to be carefully considered to provide a rational basis for their development into effective carrier systems for a given delivery task.