Lipid-based solubilization technology via hot melt extrusion: promises and challenges

Ožbej Zupančič, Martin Spoerk*, Amrit Paudel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction: Self-emulsifying drug delivery systems (SEDDS) are a promising strategy to improve the oral bioavailability of poorly water-soluble drugs (PWSD). However, poor drug loading capacity and formulation instability are the main setbacks of traditional SEDDS. The use of polymeric precipitation inhibitors was shown to create supersaturable SEDDS with increased drug loads, and their solidification can help to overcome the instability challenge. As an alternative to several existing SEDDS solidification technologies, hot melt extrusion (HME) has the potential for lean and continuous manufacturing of supersaturable solid-SEDDS. Despite being ubiquitously applied in solid lipid and polymeric processing, HME has not yet been widely considered for the preparation of SEDDS. Areas covered: The review begins why SEDDS as the preferred lipid-based delivery systems (LBDS) is suitable for the oral delivery of PWSD and discusses the common barriers to oral administration. The potential of LBDS to surmount them is discussed. SEDDS as the flagship of LBDS for PWSD is proposed with a special emphasis on solid-SEDDS. Finally, the opportunities and challenges of HME from the lipid-based excipient (LBE) processing and product performance standpoint are highlighted. Expert opinion: HME is a continuous, solvent-free, cost-effective, and scalable technology for manufacturing solid supersaturable SEDDS. Several critical formulations and process parameters for successfully preparing SEDDS via HME are identified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1013-1032
Number of pages20
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Delivery
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • hot melt extrusion (HME)
  • lipid-based drug delivery systems (LBDS)
  • oral administration barriers
  • Poor water-soluble drugs (PWSD)
  • solid self-emulsifying drug delivery systems (S-SEDDS)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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