Development of “all natural” layer-by-layer redispersible solid lipid nanoparticles by nano spray drying technology

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Solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs) have gained tremendous attraction as carriers for controlled drug delivery. Despite numerous advances in the field, one long-standing historical challenge for their practical applications remains unmet: redispersibility after drying. In this work, a novel design of SLNs using a layer-by-layer (LbL) technique was developed and the formulations were optimized by surface response methodology (Box-Behnken design). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study reporting the fabrication of SLNs from all natural ingredients in the absence of any synthetic surfactants or coatings. The SLNs were prepared by a combined solvent-diffusion and hot homogenization method, with soy lecithin as natural emulsifier (first layer), followed by the subsequent coating with sodium caseinate (second layer) and pectin (third layer), both of which are natural food biopolymers. The adsorption of pectin coating onto caseinate was reinforced by hydrophobic and electrostatic interactions induced by a pH-driven process along with thermal treatment. The innovative nano spray drying technology was further explored to obtain ultra-fine powders of SLNs. Compared to uncoated or single-layer coated SLNs powders, which showed severe aggregation after spray drying, the well-separated particles with spherical shape and smooth surface were obtained for layer-by-layer (LbL) SLNs, which were redispersible into water without variation of dimension, shape and morphology. The SLNs were characterized by Fourier transform infrared and high-performance differential scanning calorimetry for their physical properties. The LbL-coated SLNs based on all natural ingredients have promising features for future applications as drug delivery systems, overcoming the major obstacles in conventional spray drying and redispersing SLNs-based formulations.

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