There is an increasing interest on self-nanoemulsifying drug delivery system (SNEDDS) for oral delivery of poorly water-soluble drugs. However, development of SNEDDS is often driven by empiric, pseudo-ternary diagrams and solubility of drugs, and it is lacking a systematic approach for evaluating impact of excipients on the performance of formulations as well as the fate of drug. The aim of this study was to rationalize the SNEDDS development procedure and to get a better understanding on the role of excipients on the SNEDDS. The formulations consist of soybean oil or rapeseed oil, Cremophor(®) RH40, Maisine™ 35-1 and ethanol. Response surface methodology (RSM) was used in the development of SNEDDS. Significant advantages of RSM were found in reducing the work load and determining the impact of excipients on formulation characteristics. The most significant factor in influencing droplet size was the co-surfactant Maisine™ 35-1, the droplet size increased with increasing concentration of Maisine™ 35-1. It suggests that Maisine™ 35-1 has double functions in the SNEDDS; it functions as co-surfactant to improve the emulsification of oil, meanwhile it also works as the oil phase and results in larger droplets. A significant reduction in droplet size was interestingly observed when fenofibrate was loaded in the vehicles, probably due to the surface activity of fenofibrate, promoting the self-emulsifying process. It was evident that drug precipitation during lipolysis was not affected by the level of co-solvent ethanol in the formulation, while it had pronounced impact on drug solubilization during the initial dispersion stage.
Drug Development and Industrial Pharmacy, 2013, Vol 39, Issue 5, p. 799-806