Double emulsion solvent evaporation techniques used for drug encapsulation

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Double emulsions are complex systems, also called “emulsions of emulsions”, in which the droplets of the dispersed phase contain one or more types of smaller dispersed droplets themselves. Double emulsions have the potential for encapsulation of both hydrophobic as well as hydrophilic drugs, cosmetics, foods and other high value products. Techniques based on double emulsions are commonly used for the encapsulation of hydrophilic molecules, which suffer from low encapsulation efficiency because of rapid drug partitioning into the external aqueous phase when using single emulsions. The main issue when using double emulsions is their production in a well-controlled manner, with homogeneous droplet size by optimizing different process variables. In this review special attention has been paid to the application of double emulsion techniques for the encapsulation of various hydrophilic and hydrophobic anticancer drugs, anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotic drugs, proteins and amino acids and their applications in theranostics. Moreover, the optimized ratio of the different phases and other process parameters of double emulsions are discussed. Finally, the results published regarding various types of solvents, stabilizers and polymers used for the encapsulation of several active substances via double emulsion processes are reported.

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