Formulation design, production and characterisation of solid lipid nanoparticles (SLN) and nanostructured lipid carriers (NLC) for the encapsulation of a model hydrophobic active

Jo Sakellari, Ioanna Zafeiri, Hannah Batchelor, Fotios Spyropoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
89 Downloads (Pure)


Lipid nanoparticles have been widely investigated for their use as either carriers for poorly water soluble actives or as (Pickering) emulsion stabilisers. Recent studies have suggested that the fabrication of lipid nanostructures that can display both these performances concurrently, can enable the development of liquid formulations for multi-active encapsulation and release. Understanding the effects of different formulation variables on the microstructural attributes that underline both these functionalities is crucial in developing such lipid nanostructures. In this study, two types of lipid-based nanoparticles, solid lipid nanoparticles and nanostructured lipid carriers, were fabricated using varying formulation parameters, namely type of solid lipid, concentration of liquid lipid and type/concentration of surface active species. The impact of these formulation parameters on the size, thermal properties, encapsulation efficiency, loading capacity and long-term storage stability of the developed lipid systems, was studied. Preliminary lipid screening and processing conditions studies, focused on creating a suitable lipid host matrix of appropriate dimensions that could enable the high loading of a model hydrophobic active (curcumin). Informed by this, selected lipid nanostructures were then produced. These were characterised by encapsulation efficiency and loading capacity values as high as 99% and 5%, respectively, and particle dimensions within the desirable size range (100-200 nm) required to enable Pickering functionality. Compatibility between the lipid matrix components, and liquid lipid/active addition were shown to greatly influence the polymorphism/crystallinity of the fabricated particles, with the latter demonstrating a liquid lipid concentration-dependent behaviour. Successful long-term storage stability of up to 28 weeks was confirmed for certain formulations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100024
Number of pages18
JournalFood Hydrocolloids for Health
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) through the Midlands Integrative Bioscience Doctoral Training Partnership (BB/M01116X/1).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s)


  • Solid lipid nanoparticles
  • Nanostructured lipid carriers
  • Hydrophobic active
  • Crystallinity
  • Pickering functionality
  • Hansen solubility parameter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Gastroenterology


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