Solid Lipid Nanoparticles (SLNs) have attracted increasing scientific and commercial attention as colloidal drug carriers during the last decade. They have emerged as a potential alternative compared to other colloidal systems like polymeric nanoparticles, liposomes and fat emulsions, as they have been claimed to combine their advantages but successfully overcome their drawbacks. SLN formulations are extensively developed and characterized for their in vitro and in vivo applications by various routes like parenteral, oral, pulmonary, ocular, and dermal. SLNs are being widely investigated as carriers for delivery of macromolecules like proteins, oligonucleotides and DNA. SLNs have already been taken up for medium and large scale production using two of its reported production methods. In fact, the first SLN based product has recently been introduced in the Poland market as a topically applied moisturizer. Newer methods for production of SLNs and their applications are being reported and patented. Nanostructured lipid carriers (NLC) are mixture of solid lipid and liquid lipid while Lipid Drug Conjugates (LDC) are water insoluble lipid carrier for loading of poorly lipid soluble drugs. These new generation of lipid nanoparticles have been claimed to overcome the shortcomings of SLNs. This article reviews the formulation, characterization, applications, and patents on the advances and research on SLNs, NLC and LDC.