, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp E298-E310

Lecithin organogels as a potential phospholipid-structured system for topical drug delivery: A review

Abstract

The purpose of this review is to give an insight into the considerable potential of lecithin organogels (LOs) in the applications meant for topical drug delivery. LOs are clear, thermodynamically stable, viscoelastic, and biocompatible jelly-like phases, chiefly composed of hydrated phospholipids and appropriate organic liquid. These systems are currently of interest to the pharmaceutical scientist because of their structural and functional benefits. Several therapeutic agents have been formulated as LOs for their facilitated transport through topical route (for dermal or transdermal effect), with some very encouraging results. The improved topical drug delivery has mainly been attributed to the biphasic drug solubility, the desired drug partitioning, and the modification of skin barrier function by the organogel components. Being thermodynamically stable, LOs are prepared by spontaneous emulsification and therefore posses prolonged shelf life. The utility of this novel matrix as a topical vehicle has further increased owing to its very low skin irritancy potential. Varied aspects of LOs viz formation, composition, phase behavior, and characterization have been elaborated, including a general discussion on the developmental background. Besides a comprehensive update on the topical applications of lecithin organogels, the review also includes a detailed account on the mechanistics of organogelling.

Published: October 6, 2005