Applications of MicroEmulsion

By: Pharma Tips | Views: 2794 | Date: 02-Jun-2011

Microemulsions have attracted large interest in the pharmaceutical industry as idealdelivery systems for a variety of drug molecules because of their thermodynamicstability, simplicity of preparation, and solubilization capacity.


Microemulsions have attracted large interest in the pharmaceutical industry as ideal
delivery systems for a variety of drug molecules because of their thermodynamic
stability, simplicity of preparation, and solubilization capacity.

Garcia-Celma (1997) has reviewed microemulsions as drug delivery systems
for a variety of drug molecules.

Because of their unique solubilization properties, microemulsions can improve
the solubility and bioavailability of poorly water-soluble drugs. Lipophilic, hydrophilic,
or amphiphilic drugs can be effectively solubilized because of the existence of
microdomains of different polarity within the system.

Microemulsions for oral, dermal,transdermal, parenteral, and pulmonary delivery routes
have been developed.

When administered via the oral route, microemulsions enhance the bioavailability of
poorly soluble drugs by maintaining them in molecular dispersion in the GI tract. In
addition, the presence of surfactants increases the membrane permeability of the solubilized
drug. The oral efficacy of microemulsions is well demonstrated by the commercially
available Cyclosporin A formulation (Neoral®).

Recently, Kim et al. (2005) reported that tricaprylin microemulsions improved the
oral bioavailability of low molecular weight heparin in mice and monkeys.

The microemulsion was composed of tricaprylin (a surfactant mixture of Tween® 80 and Span® 20),
heparin, and water.

Microemulsions can serve as delivery systems for dermal applications and have been
proved to increase the permeation rate of both lipophilic and hydrophilic drugs compared
with conventional vehicles such as emulsions or solutions (Tenjarla 1999).


Surfactants and cosurfactants play an important role in reducing the diffusional barrier
of stratum corneum by acting as permeation enhancers and in addition, the internal
mobility of the drug within the vehicle also contributes to the increased
permeability.

Some of the commonly used surfactants for enhancing permeability are
l-a-phosphatidylcholine, Azone®, and Tween® 20. Short-chain alkanols such as ethanol
and propylene glycol are used as cosurfactants in microemulsion transdermal
formulations. The role of microemulsions in percutaneous penetration of drugs has
been summarized in a comprehensive review by Kreilgaard (2002).
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