Solid lipid nanoparticles (SLN) have attracted increasing attention during recent years. This paper presents an overview about the selection of the ingredients, different ways of SLN production and SLN applications. Aspects of SLN stability and possibilities of SLN stabilization by lyophilization and spray drying are discussed. Special attention is paid to the relation between drug incorporation and the complexity of SLN dispersions, which includes the presence of alternative colloidal structures (liposomes, micelles, drug nanosuspensions, mixed micelles, liquid crystals) and the physical state of the lipid (supercooled melts, different lipid modifications). Appropriate analytical methods are needed for the characterization of SLN. The use of several analytical techniques is a necessity. Alternative structures and dynamic phenomena on the molecular level have to be considered. Aspects of SLN administration and the in vivo fate of the carrier are discussed.
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