Lipids and polymers in pharmaceutical technology: Lifelong companions

Juergen Siepmann, Amina Faham, Sophie Dorothée Clas, Ben J. Boyd, Vincent Jannin, Andreas Bernkop-Schnürch, Hang Zhao, Sébastien Lecommandoux, James C. Evans, Christine Allen, Olivia M. Merkel, Gabriella Costabile, Morgan R. Alexander, Ricky D. Wildman, Clive J. Roberts, Jean Christophe Leroux

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


In pharmaceutical technology, lipids and polymers are considered pillar excipients for the fabrication of most dosage forms, irrespective of the administration route. They play various roles ranging from support vehicles to release rate modifiers, stabilizers, solubilizers, permeation enhancers and transfection agents. Focusing on selected applications, which were discussed at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gattefossé Foundation 2018, this manuscript recapitulates the fundamental roles of these two important classes of excipients, either employed alone or in combination, and provides insight on their functional properties in various types of drug formulations. Emphasis is placed on oral formulations for the administration of active pharmaceutical ingredients with low aqueous solubilities or poor permeation properties. Additionally, this review article covers the use of lipids and polymers in the design of colloidal injectable delivery systems, and as substrates in additive manufacturing technologies for the production of tailor-made dosage forms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-142
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2019


  • 3D printing
  • Gene delivery
  • Liposomes
  • Peptides
  • Polymersomes
  • Self-emulsifying drug delivery systems
  • Solid dispersions
  • Sustained release

Cite this

Siepmann, J., Faham, A., Clas, S. D., Boyd, B. J., Jannin, V., Bernkop-Schnürch, A., Zhao, H., Lecommandoux, S., Evans, J. C., Allen, C., Merkel, O. M., Costabile, G., Alexander, M. R., Wildman, R. D., Roberts, C. J., & Leroux, J. C. (2019). Lipids and polymers in pharmaceutical technology: Lifelong companions. International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 558, 128-142.