Development of colloidal delivery systems has opened new avenues/frontiers for improving drug delivery. Solid lipid nanoparticles have come up as the latest development in the arena of lipid based colloidal delivery systems after nanoemulsion and liposomes ever since their introduction in the early 1990s. In this review, the authors have made efforts to bring forth the essential and practically relevant aspects of SLNs. This review gives an overview of the preparation methods of solid lipid nanoparticles while mainly focussing on their biological applications including their projected applications in drug delivery. This review critically examines the influential factors governing the formation of SLNs and then discussing in detail the several techniques being utilized for their characterization. This review discusses the drug loading and drug release aspects of SLNs as these are useful biocompatible carriers of lipophilic and to a certain extent hydrophilic drugs. An updated list of drugs encapsulated into various lipids to prepare SLN formulations has been provided. Other relevant aspects pertaining to the clinical use of SLN formulations like their sterilization and storage stability have also been explained. A unique facet of this review is the discussion on the challenging issues of in vivo applications and recent progresses in overcoming these challenges which follows in the end.
Keywords: Administration routes, cancer chemotherapy, characterization, drug delivery, solid lipid nanoparticles.