Microemulsions for oral delivery of insulin: design, development and evaluation in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats

G. Sharma, K. Wilson, C. F. van der Walle, N. Sattar, J. R. Petrie, M. N. V. Ravi Kumar

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104 Citations (Scopus)


Insulin loaded microemulsions were developed adopting a low shear reverse micellar approach using didoceyldimethylammonium bromide (DMAB) as the surfactant, propylene glycol (PG) as the co-surfactant, triacetin (TA) as the oil phase and insulin solution as the aqueous phase. A ternary phase diagram was constructed based on multiple cloud point titration to highlight the reverse micellar region. The droplet sizes of the microemulsions were 161.7 +/- 24.7 nm with PDI of 0.447 +/- 0.076 and insulin entrapment of similar to 85%. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) revealed the spherical nature and size homogeneity of the microemulsion droplets. The conformational stability of the entrapped insulin within microemulsions was confirmed by fluorescence spectroscopy and circular dichroism. The microemulsions displayed a 10-fold enhancement in bioavailability compared with plain insulin solution administered per oral in healthy rats. The short-term in vivo efficacy in STZ induced diabetic rats provided the proof of concept by a modest glucose reduction at a dose of 20 IU/kg. Together this preliminary data indicate the promise of microemulsions for oral delivery of insulin. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-169
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics
Issue number2
Early online date22 Jul 2010
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010


  • bioavailability
  • insulin
  • microemulsions
  • oral delivery
  • pharmacokinetics
  • reverse micelles
  • intestinal-absorption
  • drug-delivery
  • nano-emulsions
  • degradation
  • nanoparticles
  • systems
  • solubilization
  • nanocapsules

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