Drug delivery system focuses on the regulation of the in vivo dynamics, in order to improve the effectiveness and safety of the incorporated drugs by use of novel drug formulation technologies. Lipids such as fatty acids, triglycerides, vegetable oils and their derivatives, used for
developing multiparticulate dosage forms, may be available in solid, semi-solid or liquid state. Solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs), nanostructured lipid carriers (NLCs) and lipid drug conjugate (LDCs) nanoparticles are novel lipid drug delivery systems. They were devised to address some of
the challenges of conventional drug delivery systems ranging from low drug encapsulation efficiency to low bioavailability of Biopharmaceutical Classification Systems (BCS) class II and class IV drugs. SLNs are based on melt-emulsified lipids, which are solid at room temperature and consist
of physiologically well tolerated ingredients often generally recognised as safe. NLCs are colloidal carriers characterized by a solid lipid core consisting of a mixture of solid and liquid lipids, and having a mean particle size in the nanometer range. LDC nanoparticles contain drugs linked
to lipid particles. This minireview highlights these three different but related technologies in lipid drug delivery. The objectives of their introduction, current applications, major challenges and some patented formulations are highlighted.
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