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Lipids and polymers in pharmaceutical technology: lifelong companions

Siepmann, Juergen; Faham, Amina; Clas, Sophie-Dorothée; Boyd, Ben J.; Jannin, Vincent; Bernkop-Schnürch, Andreas; Zhao, Hang; Lecommandoux, Sébastien; Evans, James C.; Allen, Christine; Merkel, Olivia M.; Costabile, Gabriella; Alexander, Morgan R.; Wildman, Ricky D.; Roberts, Clive J.; Leroux, Jean-Christophe

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Juergen Siepmann

Amina Faham

Sophie-Dorothée Clas

Ben J. Boyd

Vincent Jannin

Andreas Bernkop-Schnürch

Hang Zhao

Sébastien Lecommandoux

James C. Evans

Christine Allen

Olivia M. Merkel

Gabriella Costabile

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Professor of Biomedical Surfaces

Professor of Multiphase Flow and Mechanics

Jean-Christophe Leroux


In pharmaceutical technology, lipids and polymers are considered pillar excipients for the fabrication of most dosage forms, irrespective of the administration route. They play various roles ranging from support vehicles to release rate modifiers, stabilizers, solubilizers, permeation enhancers and transfection agents. Focusing on selected applications, which were discussed at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gattefossé Foundation 2018, this manuscript recapitulates the fundamental roles of these two important classes of excipients, either employed alone or in combination, and provides insight on their functional properties in various types of drug formulations. Emphasis is placed on oral formulations for the administration of active pharmaceutical ingredients with low aqueous solubilities or poor permeation properties. Additionally, this review article covers the use of lipids and polymers in the design of colloidal injectable delivery systems, and as substrates in additive manufacturing technologies for the production of tailor-made dosage forms.


Siepmann, J., Faham, A., Clas, S., Boyd, B. J., Jannin, V., Bernkop-Schnürch, A., …Leroux, J. (2019). Lipids and polymers in pharmaceutical technology: lifelong companions. International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 558, 128-142.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 24, 2018
Online Publication Date Jan 9, 2019
Publication Date Mar 10, 2019
Deposit Date Jun 3, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jun 4, 2019
Journal International Journal of Pharmaceutics
Print ISSN 0378-5173
Electronic ISSN 1873-3476
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 558
Pages 128-142
Keywords Solid dispersions; Self-emulsifying drug delivery systems; Sustained release; Liposomes; Polymersomes; Peptides; Gene delivery; 3D printing
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Additional Information This article is maintained by: Elsevier; Article Title: Lipids and polymers in pharmaceutical technology: Lifelong companions; Journal Title: International Journal of Pharmaceutics; CrossRef DOI link to publisher maintained version:; Content Type: article; Copyright: © 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.


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