Microwave-Assisted Microemulsion Technique

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Effective drugs absorption requires two crucial conditions: high solubility and membrane permeability. In recent years, there has been an increased interest in solid lipid nanoparticles, which helps to overcome the disadvantages of thermal heating. Creative Biolabs is very professional in applying microwave-assisted microemulsion techniques.

Microwave-assisted Process

The microwave-assisted technique roughly contains a mixture of stearic acid, Tween 20 and water. The mixture was heated above the melting point of stearic acid in a microwave reactor tube with constant stirring using the microwave synthesizer, then the o/w microemulsion was synthesized. The hot o/w microemulsion was dispersed immediately into cold water under constant magnetic stirring to generate solid lipid nanoparticles dispersions. For drug-loaded solid lipid nanoparticles, the drug was added to the physical mixture of stearic acid, Tween 20 and water, and the entire mixture was subjected to microwave heating.

Schematic drawing of the microwave-assisted system.Fig.1 Schematic drawing of the microwave-assisted system. (Aisyah, 2018)

Applications of Microwave-assisted Microemulsion in Lipid Nanoparticle Production

  • Delivery vehicles for clotrimazole

Clotrimazole is a common antifungal drug, which is often used as a lipophilic model drug. Clotrimazole has the disadvantage of the short plasma half-life. Based on the disadvantage, clotrimazole has been explored for a perfect lipophilic model drug for encapsulation into solid lipid nanoparticles. Clotrimazole was successfully incorporated into solid lipid nanoparticles by the microwave-assisted microemulsion method. Reports showed that microwave-produced solid lipid nanoparticles can be considered as safe delivery vehicles for clotrimazole.

  • Potential carriers of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are some of the most widely prescribed drugs in the world and are commonly used for fever, pain and inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Despite their wide application, poor water solubility of these drugs limits their effects. Nowadays, encapsulation of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in drug vehicles has been investigated for overcoming the disadvantages. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have been successfully encapsulated into polymeric particles acquired from the microwave-assisted microemulsion process. Tests have proved that solid lipid nanoparticles can encapsulate non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and may act as potential carriers of these drugs.

  • Delivery of other drugs

More importantly, the target drugs of lipid nanoparticles obtained from microwave-assisted microemulsion techniques are more extensive, which can be cisplatin, zidovudine, pentoxifylline. Cisplatin is a well-known anticancer drug prescribed for the treatment of most solid tumors, However, its applications are significantly limited by the toxicities nonspecificity. The delivery of cisplatin to tumor sites by incorporating it into solid lipid nanoparticles has become a hot spot, and the solid lipid nanoparticles can be achieved from microwave-assisted microemulsion. Zidovudine is another example. Zidovudine is a nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor and the most widely used of human immunodeficiency virus. Despite its therapeutic efficacy, the drawbacks of low oral bioavailability dose-dependent side effects bone marrow toxicity limit its applications. The microwave-assisted microemulsion technique was applied for the development of nanostructured lipid carriers loaded with a hydrophilic drug, the antiretroviral agent zidovudine. Moreover, pentoxifylline is a more worth mentioning example. The anti-inflammatory activity of pentoxifylline is widely accepted. Pentoxifylline is highly hydrophilic and thus its action on the psoriatic lesions is limited. Results of some studies justify nanostructured lipid carriers to be a topical boon for pentoxifylline delivery, and the nanostructured lipid carriers were also based on the microwave-assisted rapid technique.

The exponential increase in microwave-assisted microemulsion technique research and the growing applications in multiple fields of biology indicate the technique as a strong carrier of a large number of drugs. Creative Biolabs is always dedicated to offering our clients the most satisfactory techniques for the production of lipid nanoparticles. If you are interested in the novel technique, please feel free to contact us for more details.


  1. Aisyah, R.; et al. Microwave-assisted pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis of sardine processing waste. Journal of Engineering Science and Technology. 2018, 13: 71-77.
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