UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Development and Characterization of the Solvent-Assisted Active Loading Technology (SALT) for Liposomal Loading of Poorly Water-Soluble Compounds Pauli, Griffin; Tang, Wei-Lun; Li, Shyh-Dar


A large proportion of pharmaceutical compounds exhibit poor water solubility, impacting their delivery. These compounds can be passively encapsulated in the lipid bilayer of liposomes to improve their water solubility, but the loading capacity and stability are poor, leading to burst drug leakage. The solvent-assisted active loading technology (SALT) was developed to promote active loading of poorly soluble drugs in the liposomal core to improve the encapsulation efficiency and formulation stability. By adding a small volume (~5 vol%) of a water miscible solvent to the liposomal loading mixture, we achieved complete, rapid loading of a range of poorly soluble compounds and attained a high drug-to-lipid ratio with stable drug retention. This led to improvements in the circulation half-life, tolerability, and efficacy profiles. In this mini-review, we summarize our results from three studies demonstrating that SALT is a robust and versatile platform to improve active loading of poorly water-soluble compounds. We have validated SALT as a tool for improving drug solubility, liposomal loading efficiency and retention, stability, palatability, and pharmacokinetics (PK), while retaining the ability of the compounds to exert pharmacological effects.

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