Self-dispersing lipid-based formulations, particularly self-microemulsifying drug delivery systems (SMEDDS) have gained an increased interest in recent times as a means to enhance the oral bioavailability of poorly water-soluble lipophilic drugs. Upon dilution, SMEDDS self-emulsify in an aqueous fluid and usually form a kinetically stable oil-in-water emulsion or in some rare cases a true thermodynamically stable microemulsion. The digestion of the formulation leads to the production of amphiphilic digestion products that interact with endogenous amphiphilic components and form self-assembled colloidal phases in the aqueous environment of the intestine. The formed colloidal phases play a pivotal role in maintaining the lipophilic drug in the solubilised state during gastrointestinal transit prior to absorption. Thus, this review describes the structural characterisation techniques employed for SMEDDS and the recent literature studies that elucidated the colloidal aspects during dispersion and digestion of SMEDDS and solid SMEDDS. Possible future studies are proposed to gain better understanding on the colloidal aspects of SMEDDS and solid SMEDDS.
- Colloidal phases
- Lipid-based formulations
- Poorly water-soluble drugs
- Self-dispersing formulations
- Self-microemulsifying drug delivery system