Background: Some amphiphilic lipids can self-assemble to form bicontinuous cubic liquid
crystalline materials in aqueous media. These cubic structures have gained considerable attention since
they impart unique properties of practical interest. Cubosomes, being dispersions of an inverted type
bicontinuous cubic phase, separate two continuous aqueous regions with a lipid bilayer having the
propensity to incorporate drugs of varying polar characteristics. These novel versatile materials possess
the properties to form a section of the next generation of advanced biocompatible nanoparticles.
Methods: This review chiefly considers the scope and importance of cubosomes as a proficient drug delivery vehicle. In
addition, it also takes into account the various methods of preparation, the drug loading and release behavior as well as
different methods of characterization. Their current advances in various arenas ranging from sustained drug release, burn
management, melanoma therapy, vaccine delivery, protein delivery, cosmeceutical and theranostic applications are briefly
summarized in this overview.
Results: The drug release from cubosomal dispersions have shown enhancement in bioavailability by solubilisation of
poorly water soluble drugs, decrease in adverse effects, enhancement of intracellular penetration, protection against degradation,
possibility of sustained drug release and the biodegradable nature of lipids is an added advantage.
Conclusion: Recognizing the desirable properties of cubosomes, it has been proposed as a novel carrier for drug delivery
systems. Their unique solubilizing, encapsulating, transporting and protecting capabilities make them an attractive vehicle
for numerous in vivo drug delivery routes.