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Advanced drug delivery to the lymphatic system: lipid-based nanoformulations

Authors Ali Khan A, Mudassir J, Mohtar N, Darwis Y,

Received 12 December 2012

Accepted for publication 20 March 2013

Published 26 July 2013 Volume 2013:8(1) Pages 2733—2744

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S41521

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 5

Arshad Ali Khan, Jahanzeb Mudassir, Noratiqah Mohtar, Yusrida Darwis

School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Minden, Penang, Malaysia

Abstract: The delivery of drugs and bioactive compounds via the lymphatic system is complex and dependent on the physiological uniqueness of the system. The lymphatic route plays an important role in transporting extracellular fluid to maintain homeostasis and in transferring immune cells to injury sites, and is able to avoid first-pass metabolism, thus acting as a bypass route for compounds with lower bioavailability, ie, those undergoing more hepatic metabolism. The lymphatic route also provides an option for the delivery of therapeutic molecules, such as drugs to treat cancer and human immunodeficiency virus, which can travel through the lymphatic system. Lymphatic imaging is useful in evaluating disease states and treatment plans for progressive diseases of the lymph system. Novel lipid-based nanoformulations, such as solid lipid nanoparticles and nanostructured lipid carriers, have unique characteristics that make them promising candidates for lymphatic delivery. These formulations are superior to colloidal carrier systems because they have controlled release properties and provide better chemical stability for drug molecules. However, multiple factors regulate the lymphatic delivery of drugs. Prior to lymphatic uptake, lipid-based nanoformulations are required to undergo interstitial hindrance that modulates drug delivery. Therefore, uptake and distribution of lipid-based nanoformulations by the lymphatic system depends on factors such as particle size, surface charge, molecular weight, and hydrophobicity. Types of lipid and concentration of the emulsifier are also important factors affecting drug delivery via the lymphatic system. All of these factors can cause changes in intermolecular interactions between the lipid nanoparticle matrix and the incorporated drug, which in turn affects uptake of drug into the lymphatic system. Two lipid-based nanoformulations, ie, solid lipid nanoparticles and nanostructured lipid carriers, have been administered via multiple routes (subcutaneous, pulmonary, and intestinal) for targeting of the lymphatic system. This paper provides a detailed review of novel lipid-based nanoformulations and their lymphatic delivery via different routes, as well as the in vivo and in vitro models used to study drug transport in the lymphatic system. Physicochemical properties that influence lymphatic delivery as well as the advantages of lipid-based nanoformulations for lymphatic delivery are also discussed.

Keywords: lymphatic system, blood circulation, solid lipid nanoparticles, nanostructured lipid carriers

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