Recently, advances in pharmaceutical research is focused on new delivery systems utilizing new devices to achieve modification of delivery time, targeting, as well as improve the in vivo solubility and hence bioavailability of poorly soluble drugs. Lipid based drug delivery systems (LDDS) consists of diverse group of formulations, each consisting of varying functional and structural properties that are amenable to modifications achieved by varying the composition of lipid excipients and other additives. LDDS has evolved, overtime, from micro- to nano-scale enhancing the efficacy and therapeutic application of these systems. LDDS are accepted, proven, commercially viable strategies for formulating challenging pharmaceutical molecules and can be tailored to meet a wide range of product requirements. Generally, most lipid drug delivery systems used as drug carriers have high stability, high carrier capacity, feasibility of incorporating both hydrophilic and hydrophobic substances and feasibility of variable routes of administration, including oral, topical, parenteral and pulmonary routes. LDDS can also be designed to allow modified drug release from matrices. LDDS could be broadly grouped into four: solid lipid particulate dosage forms, emulsion based systems, solid lipid tablets, and vesicular systems. Modifications from these four types include: lipospheres, solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs), nano structured lipid carriers (NLC), lipid drug conjugate nanoparticles (LDC), self emulsifying formulations (SEFs), pickering emulsions, dry emulsions, micro and nano-emulsions, solidified reverse micellar solution (SRMS) based tablets, liposomes, herbosomes, cryptosomes and transferosomes amongst others. This work exhaustively reviewed the advances in LDDS and also drew comparison between the different types based on history, methods of manufacture, applications, advantages and disadvantages.
Key words: Cryptosomes, lipospheres, lipoplexes, solid lipid tablets, pharmacosomes, virosomes, vesosomes.
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