Computational and Experimental Models of Type III Lipid-Based Formulations of Loratadine Containing Complex Nonionic Surfactants

Amali G. Guruge, Dallas B. Warren, Hassan Benameur, Leigh Ford, Hywel D. Williams, Vincent Jannin, Colin W. Pouton, David K. Chalmers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Type III lipid-based formulations (LBFs) combine poorly water-soluble drugs with oils, surfactants, and cosolvents to deliver the drugs into the systemic circulation. However, the solubility of the drug can be influenced by the colloidal phases formed in the gastrointestinal tract as the formulation is dispersed and makes contact with bile and other materials present within the GI tract. Thus, an understanding of the phase behavior of LBFs in the gut is critical for designing efficient LBFs. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulation is a powerful tool for the study of colloidal systems. In this study, we modeled the internal structures of five type III LBFs of loratadine containing poly(ethylene oxide) nonionic surfactants polysorbate 80 and polyoxyl hydrogenated castor oil (Kolliphor RH40) using long-timescale MD simulations (0.4-1.7 μs). We also conducted experimental investigations (dilution of formulations with water) including commercial Claritin liquid softgel capsules. The simulations show that LBFs form continuous phase, water-swollen reverse micelles, and bicontinuous and phase-separated systems at different dilutions, which correlate with the experimental observations. This study supports the use of MD simulation as a predictive tool to determine the fate of LBFs composed of medium-chain lipids, polyethylene oxide surfactants, and polymers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4354-4370
Number of pages17
JournalMolecular Pharmaceutics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2021


  • colloids
  • lipid-based drug formulations
  • loratadine
  • molecular dynamics simulation
  • nonionic surfactant
  • phase behavior

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