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Oral and transdermal drug delivery systems: role of lipid-based lyotropic liquid crystals

Authors Rajabalaya R, Musa MN, Kifli N, David SR

Received 5 May 2016

Accepted for publication 9 June 2016

Published 13 February 2017 Volume 2017:11 Pages 393—406

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/DDDT.S103505

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Wei Duan

Video abstract presented by Sheba R David.

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Rajan Rajabalaya, Muhammad Nuh Musa, Nurolaini Kifli, Sheba R David

PAPRSB Institute of Health Sciences, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Brunei Darussalam

Abstract: Liquid crystal (LC) dosage forms, particularly those using lipid-based lyotropic LCs (LLCs), have generated considerable interest as potential drug delivery systems. LCs have the physical properties of liquids but retain some of the structural characteristics of crystalline solids. They are compatible with hydrophobic and hydrophilic compounds of many different classes and can protect even biologicals and nucleic acids from degradation. This review, focused on research conducted over the past 5 years, discusses the structural evaluation of LCs and their effects in drug formulations. The structural classification of LLCs into lamellar, hexagonal and micellar cubic phases is described. The structures of these phases are influenced by the addition of surfactants, which include a variety of nontoxic, biodegradable lipids; these also enhance drug solubility. LLC structure influences drug localization, particle size and viscosity, which, in turn, determine drug delivery properties. Through several specific examples, we describe the applications of LLCs in oral and topical drug formulations, the latter including transdermal and ocular delivery. In oral LLC formulations, micelle compositions and the resulting LLC structures can determine drug solubilization and stability as well as intestinal transport and absorption. Similarly, in topical LLC formulations, composition can influence whether the drug is retained in the skin or delivered transdermally. Owing to their enhancement of drug stability and promotion of controlled drug delivery, LLCs are becoming increasingly popular in pharmaceutical formulations.

Keywords: liquid crystal, drug delivery, controlled release, lyotropic, surfactants, drug localization

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