AAPS PharmSciTech

, Volume 19, Issue 5, pp 2023–2040 | Cite as

Characterization of Lipid-Based Lyotropic Liquid Crystal and Effects of Guest Molecules on Its Microstructure: a Systematic Review

  • Xingqi Wang
  • Yong Zhang
  • Shuangying Gui
  • Jie Huang
  • Jiaojiao Cao
  • Zhengguang Li
  • Qian Li
  • Xiaoqin ChuEmail author
Review Article


Liquid crystals (LCs) are conventionally divided into thermotropic or lyotropic, based on the organization and sequence of the controlled molecular system. Lipid-based lyotropic liquid crystal (LLC), such as lamellar (Lα), bicontinuous cubic (QII), or hexagonal (HII) phases, have attracted wide interest in the last few decades due to their practical potential in diverse applications and notable structural complexity. Various guest molecules, such as biopharmaceuticals, chemicals, and additives, can be solubilized in either aqueous or oily phase. And the LLC microstructure can be altered to affect the rate of drug release eventually. To utilize these microstructural variations to adjust the drug release in drug delivery system (DDS), it is crucial to understand the structure variations of the LLC caused by different types of guest molecules. Therefore, in this article, we review the effect of guest molecules on lipid-based LLC microstructures. In particular, we focus on the different characterization methods to evaluate this change caused by guest substances, such as polarized light microscopy (PLM), small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), self-diffusion nuclear magnetic resonance (SD-NMR), and so on.


lyotropic liquid crystal glyceryl monooleate phytantriol guest molecules characterization methods 



Many thanks are also expressed to Xiaoqin Chu for useful discussions.

Funding Information

We are grateful for the financial supports from National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81274099), Anhui Provincial Talents Project for youth in Universities (No. gxyq2018025), Anhui Provincial Natural Science Foundation (No. 1408085QH183), and Exploratory Research Projects of Anhui University of Chinese Medicine (No. 2016ts066).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xingqi Wang
    • 1
  • Yong Zhang
    • 1
  • Shuangying Gui
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jie Huang
    • 1
  • Jiaojiao Cao
    • 1
  • Zhengguang Li
    • 1
  • Qian Li
    • 1
  • Xiaoqin Chu
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Pharmaceutics, College of PharmacyAnhui University of Chinese MedicineHefeiChina
  2. 2.Institute of PharmaceuticsAnhui Academy of Chinese MedicineHefeiChina

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