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Journal of Drug Delivery
Volume 2012, Article ID 750891, 10 pages
Review Article

Current State-of-Art and New Trends on Lipid Nanoparticles (SLN and NLC) for Oral Drug Delivery

1Department of Biotechnological Processes, School of Chemical Engineering, State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), 13083-970 Campinas, SP, Brazil
2Faculty of Health Sciences, Fernando Pessoa University (FCS-UFP), Rua Carlos da Maia, 296, 4200-150 Porto, Portugal
3Department of Biology and Environment, University of Trás-os Montes e Alto Douro, 5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal
4Centre for Research and Technology of Agro-Environmental and Biological Sciences, 5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal
5Institute of Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Centre of Genomics and Biotechnology, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (CGB-UTAD/IBB), P.O. Box 1013, 5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal

Received 19 July 2011; Revised 5 October 2011; Accepted 5 October 2011

Academic Editor: Rajesh Patil

Copyright © 2012 Patrícia Severino et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Lipids and lipid nanoparticles are extensively employed as oral-delivery systems for drugs and other active ingredients. These have been exploited for many features in the field of pharmaceutical technology. Lipids usually enhance drug absorption in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), and when formulated as nanoparticles, these molecules improve mucosal adhesion due to small particle size and increasing their GIT residence time. In addition, lipid nanoparticles may also protect the loaded drugs from chemical and enzymatic degradation and gradually release drug molecules from the lipid matrix into blood, resulting in improved therapeutic profiles compared to free drug. Therefore, due to their physiological and biodegradable properties, lipid molecules may decrease adverse side effects and chronic toxicity of the drug-delivery systems when compared to other of polymeric nature. This paper highlights the importance of lipid nanoparticles to modify the release profile and the pharmacokinetic parameters of drugs when administrated through oral route.