Solid lipid microparticles as an approach to drug delivery

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77 Citations (Scopus)


ntroduction: Solid lipid particles were introduced in the early 1990s as an alternative drug carrier system to emulsions, liposomes and polymeric microparticles. Although lipid nanoparticles have been the object of a substantial number of reviews, fewer are available on lipid microparticles (LMs), despite their distinct advantages, including biocompatibility, ease of production and characterisation, extended release properties and high loading.

Areas covered: This review presents an overview of the advantages and drawbacks of LMs, that is, lipid-based particles with dimensions in the micrometre range. Specific focus is on the role of the main excipients used for LM formulations, lipids and surfactants and their effects on LM properties. An update on preparation techniques and characterisation methods are also presented, with particular emphasis on more recent technologies. The interaction of LMs with biological systems and with cells in particular is reviewed. The various LM administration routes are examined, with special attention to most recent applications (i.e., pulmonary and nasal delivery).

Expert opinion: LMs represent attractive and versatile carrier systems; however, their pharmaceutical applicability has been rather limited. Investigation on the use of LMs for less-established administration routes, such as pulmonary delivery, may provide further interest within the area of LM-based systems, both in industry and in the clinic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)583-599
Number of pages17
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Delivery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • administration routes
  • characterisation
  • interaction with biological systems
  • lipid microparticles
  • preparation methods


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