Transforming lipid-based oral drug delivery systems into solid dosage forms: An overview of solid carriers, physicochemical properties, and biopharmaceutical performance

Angel Tan, Shasha Rao, Clive A. Prestidge

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

97 Citations (Scopus)


The diversity of lipid excipients available commercially has enabled versatile formulation design of lipid-based drug delivery systems for enhancing the oral absorption of poorly water-soluble drugs, such as emulsions, microemulsions, micelles, liposomes, niosomes and various self-emulsifying systems. The transformation of liquid lipid-based systems into solid dosage forms has been investigated for several decades, and has recently become a core subject of pharmaceutical research as solidification is regarded as viable means for stabilising lipid colloidal systems while eliminating stringent processing requirements associated with liquid systems. This review describes the types of pharmaceutical grade excipients (silica nanoparticle/microparticle, polysaccharide, polymer and protein-based materials) used as solid carriers and the current state of knowledge on the liquid-to-solid conversion approaches. Details are primarily focused on the solid-state physicochemical properties and redispersion capacity of various dry lipid-based formulations, and how these relate to the in vitro drug release and solubilisation, lipid carrier digestion and cell permeation performances. Numerous in vivo proof-of-concept studies are presented to highlight the viability of these dry lipid-based formulations. This review is significant in directing future research work in fostering translation of dry lipid-based formulations into clinical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2993-3017
Number of pages25
JournalPharmaceutical Research
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • dry emulsions
  • lipid-based drug delivery systems
  • oral bioavailability
  • poorly water-soluble drugs
  • proliposomes
  • silica-lipid hybrid
  • solid carriers
  • solid self-emulsifying systems

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