Solubility enhancement of poorly water soluble drugs using liposome technology

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The aim of this work is to investigate the various parameters that could control the encapsulation of lipophilic drugs and investigate the influence of the physical properties of poorly water-soluble drugs on bilayer loading. Initial work investigated on the solubilisation of ibuprofen, a model insoluble drug. Drug loading was assessed using HPLC and UV spectrophotometric analysis. Preliminary studies focused on the influence of bilayer composition on drug loading to obtain an optimum cholesterol concentration. This was followed up by studies investigating the effect of longer alkyl chain lipids, unsaturated alkyl chain lipids and charged lipids. The studies also focused on the effects of pH of the hydration medium and addition of the single chain surfactant a-tocopherol. The work was followed up by investigation of a range of insoluble drugs including flurbiprofen, indomethacin, sulindac, mefenamic acid, lignocaine and progesterone to investigate the influence of drugs properties and functional group on liposomal loading. The results show that no defined trend could be obtained linking the drug loading to the different drug properties including molecular weight, log P and other drug specific characteristics. However, the presence of the oppositely charged lipids improved the encapsulation of all the drugs investigated with a similar effect obtained with the substitution of the longer chain lipids. The addition of the single chain surfactant a-tocopherol resulted in enhancement of drug loading and possibly is governed by the log P of the drug candidate. Environmental scanning-electron microscopy (ESEM) was used to dynamically follow the changes in liposome morphology in real time during dehydration thereby providing a alternative assay of liposome formulation and stability. The ESEM analysis clearly demonstrated ibuprofen incorporation enhanced the stability of PC:Chol liposomes.
Date of Award2005
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorYvonne Perrie (Supervisor)


  • Solubility enhancement
  • poorly water soluble drugs
  • liposome technology

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