Are Microemulsions The Drug Delivery System For You?

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Deb Shechter
Nov 25, 2015
min read
Are Microemulsions The Drug Delivery System For You?

Are you a researcher working in drug development? Microemulsions may be the solution to a problem you never knew you had. Keep reading to improve your general knowledge about microemulsions, and specifically how it may be beneficial as a drug delivery system.

A microemulsion is technically defined as a thermodynamically stable and homogenous mixture of oil and water, as well as surfactant or cosurfactant.  Similar names indicates very little in the case of microemulsions versus emulsions; although emulsions are also commonly used in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and other industries, the two products are distinct. Because of its unstable nature, an emulsion’s droplets grow over time. However, the thermodynamically stable nature of microemulsions prevents this from occurring. Additionally, the droplets of the dispersed phase in emulsions are significantly larger than those of microemulsions, particularly as they grow continuously with time. (1) As a system of oil and water that contains properties of both liquids, microemulsions can be one of three distinct types (oil-in-water, water-in-oil, bicontinuous).

Seeing increased use across industries, such as the cosmetic, food, and pharmaceutical, microemulsions have numerous benefits. Its stable structure, lower energy requirements, and small droplet sizes (between 20 and 200 nm) make it preferable to emulsions and other such products. In recent years, it has been increasingly considered as a drug delivery system because of its enhanced drug solubilization, which increases bioavailability; additional benefits for both researcher and consumer include longer shelf life and ease in both preparation and administration. Furthermore, because of its lipophilic and hydrophilic domains, microemulsions have the ability to incorporate a wide range of drug products, both hydrophilic and hydrophobic in nature. (2)

Production of microemulsions involves high-pressure emulsification, typically through homogenization. Homogenization is the preferable method due to its ability to reduce particle sizes more significantly than other blending/emulsification methods. The first step in synthesizing a microemulsion-based drug delivery system is purchasing equipment that will achieve small and consistent particle size distribution. One such example is the high pressure homogenizer by Pion. Our products are trusted by pharmaceutical researchers and lab managers around the world for key benefits, such as production of nano/micro emulsions, dispersions, and suspensions; importantly, this equipment can achieve consistent particle sizes at or below 100 nm, a key benefit for researchers & corporations that synthesize pharmaceutical products.

In addition, Pion has extensive experience assisting its product users as they transition through the drug development process. Our homogenizers are differentiated for R&D, clinical trials, and manufacturing, and our customer support is reliable, experience-driven, and effective.

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