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Jun 13, 2024

Improved oral delivery of lipid-based formulations

Life Sciences, Drug Delivery

  • Solid SMEDDS-loaded metal-organic compounds
  • pH-responsive and tight drug release control
  • Customization through 3D printing

Your contact

Linda Keil

+49 (0) 89 5480177 – 30
Reference Number:


Potent but poorly water-soluble drug candidates pose a major challenge to new drug development, as they result in poor oral bioavailability. Lipid-based formulations can improve oral absorption of lipophilic drugs. One approach is self-microemulsifying drug delivery systems (SMEDDS), which act as microemulsion preconcentrates to facilitate delivery. Liquid SMEDDs can be administered with good compliance using soft gelatin capsules, but manufacturers still face storage, stability and drug release challenges. Numerous approaches to improve the oral bioavailability of poorly water-soluble drugs have been explored such as particle size reduction, complexation, salt formation and addition of co-solvents. These methods have limited applicability for some compounds. Lipid-based formulations, such as liquid SMEDDS, have already been extensively investigated


The present innovation relates to a composition comprising a metal-organic framework (MOF), one or more emulsifier(s) and one or more lipid(s). The formulation and manufacturing process for SMEDDS-MOFs are suitable as 3D printing starting materials and are responsive to physical stimuli such as pH changes. This allows for a solid and customisable dosage form and, in the future, the controlled release of drugs, for example in the colon.

Commercial Opportunities

- Formulating and producing solid SMEDDS-loaded metal-organic compounds

- pH-responsive drug delivery with controlled drug release

- 3D printing allows the shape and size of tablets to be customised for individual patients

- Successfully demonstrated for the model compounds Nile Red, vitamin K1, and lumefantrine

Development Status

TRL Level 3: Experimental proof of concept




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