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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Synergistic stabilization of emulsion gel by nanoparticles and surfactant enables 3D printing of lipid-rich solid oral dosage forms

Johannesson, Jenny; Pathare, Malhar Manik; Johansson, Mathias; Bergstrom, Christel A. S.; Teleki, Alexandra


Pharmaceutical formulation of oral dosage forms is continuously challenged by the low solubility of new drug candidates. Pickering emulsions, emulsions stabilized with solid particles, are a promising alternative to surfactants for developing long-term stable emulsions that can be tailored for controlled release of lipophilic drugs. In this work, a non-emulsifying lipid-based formulation (LBF) loaded with fenofibrate was formulated into an oilin-water (O/W) emulsion synergistically stabilized by stearic acid and silica (SiO2) nanoparticles. The emulsion had a droplet size of 341 nm with SiO2 particles partially covering the oil-water interface. In vitro lipid digestion was faster for the emulsion compared to the corresponding LBF due to the larger total surface area available for digestion. Cellulose biopolymers were added to the emulsion to produce a gel for semi-solid extrusion (SSE) 3D printing into tablets. The emulsion gel showed suitable rheological attributes for SSE, with a trend of higher viscosity, yield stress, and storage modulus (G & PRIME;), compared to a conventional self-emulsifying lipid-based emulsion gel. The developed emulsion gel allows for a non-emulsifying LBF to be transformed into solid dosage forms for rapid lipid digestion and drug release of a poorly water-soluble drug in the small intestine.


Poorly water-soluble drug; Lipid-based formulation; Oil-in-water emulsion; Silica nanoparticle; Emulsion gel; Lipid digestion; Semi-solid extrusion; 3D printing

Published in

Journal of Colloid and Interface Science
2023, Volume: 650, number: Part B, pages: 1253-1264

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Physical Chemistry
    Pharmaceutical Sciences

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