Lipospheres and pro-nano lipospheres for delivery of poorly water soluble compounds

Anna Elgart, Irina Cherniakov, Yanir Aldouby, Abraham J. Domb, Amnon Hoffman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Lipospheres are a drug encapsulation system composed of water dispersible solid microparticles of particle size between 0.01 and 100 μm in diameter with a solid hydrophobic lipid core stabilized by a layer of phospholipid molecules embedded in their surface. The bioactive compound is dissolved or dispersed in the solid lipid matrix of the internal core. Since lipospheres were introduced in the beginning of the 1990s, they have been used for the delivery of multiple types of drugs by various routes of administration. Later, a self-assembling pro-nano lipospheres (PNL) encapsulation system was developed for oral drug delivery. Lipospheres have several advantages over other delivery systems, such as better physical stability, low cost of ingredients, ease of preparation and scale-up, high dispersibility in an aqueous medium, high entrapment of hydrophobic drugs, controlled particle size, and extended release of entrapped drug after administration, from a few hours to several days. This review article focuses on updated information on several aspects of lipospheres and PNL, including preparation techniques, physicochemical properties and in vitro evaluation methods. Additionally, it covers lipospheres and PNL utilization for oral, ocular, and parenteral delivery, with special attention to unique considerations and aspects for each route of administration.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)438-453
Number of pages16
JournalChemistry and Physics of Lipids
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2012


  • Drug delivery
  • Lipospheres
  • Ocular drug delivery
  • Oral drug delivery
  • Parenteral drug delivery
  • Pro-nano lipospheres
  • Solid lipid nano-particles


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