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Eur J Pharm Biopharm. 1998 Mar;45(2):149-55.

Solid lipid nanoparticles (SLN) for controlled drug delivery--drug release and release mechanism.

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Department of Pharmaceutics, Biopharmaceutics and Biotechnology, The Free University of Berlin, Germany.


Solid lipid nanoparticles (SLN) are particulate systems for parenteral drug administration with mean particle diameters ranging from 50 up to 1000 nm. The model drugs tetracaine, etomidate and prednisolone were incorporated (1, 5 and 10%) to study the drug load, effect of drug incorporation on the structure of the lipid matrix and the release profiles and mechanism. SLN were produced by high pressure homogenization of aqueous surfactant solutions containing the drug-loaded lipids in the melted or in the solid state (500/1500 bar, 3/10 cycles). In case of tetracaine and etomidate, high drug loadings up to 10% could be achieved when using Compritol 888 ATO and Dynasan 112 as matrix material. The melting behavior of the drug loaded particles revealed that little or no interactions between drug and lipid occurred. A burst drug release (100% release < 1 min) was observed with tetracaine and etomidate SLN, which was attributed to the large surface area of the nanoparticles and drug enrichment in the outer shell of the particles. In contrast, prednisolone loaded SLN showed a distinctly prolonged release over a monitored period of 5 weeks. Depending on the chemical nature of the lipid matrix, 83.8 and 37.1% drug were released (cholesterol and compritol, respectively). These results demonstrate the principle suitability of SLN as a prolonged release formulation for lipophilic drugs.

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