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Solvent Emulsification—Evaporation Technique

Sjostrom and Bergenstahl were the first to describe the production of SLNs by solvent emulsification—evaporation technique [18]. The solid lipid is dissolved in a water- immiscible organic solvent such as cyclohexane, chloroform, ethyl acetate, or methylene chloride, and the drug is dissolved or dispersed in the solution [19]. This organic phase containing the drug is emulsified in an aqueous solution of a surfactant by mechanical stirring. The organic solvent is then removed from the emulsion under mechanical stirring or reduced pressure (40—60 mbar) [3,19]. Lipid nanoparticle dispersion is formed by the precipitation of the lipid phase in the aqueous surfactant medium. Particle aggregation can be avoided in this technique by removing the solvent at a faster rate [5]. This technique can be used to incorporate hydrophilic drugs by preparing a water/oil/water emulsion and dissolving the drug in the internal water phase [20,21]. Thermosensitive drugs can be incorporated via this technique, as it avoids thermal stress. Trace amounts of organic solvent remaining in the final product can potentially create toxicity problems. Moreover, increasing the lipid content decreases the efficiency of homogenization due to the high viscosity of the dispersed phase, and hence the dispersions are very dilute and have very low lipid particle content (0.1 g/L) [3]. A large quantity of water has to be removed during the final processing of the formulation [22,23].

 
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