A novel approach to oral iron delivery using ferrous sulphate loaded solid lipid nanoparticles

M Gulrez Zariwala, Naba Elsaid, Timothy L Jackson, Francisco Corral López, Sebastien Farnaud, Satyanarayana Somavarapu, Derek Renshaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


Iron (Fe) loaded solid lipid nanoparticles (SLN's) were formulated using stearic acid and iron absorption was evaluated in vitro using the cell line Caco-2 with intracellular ferritin formation as a marker of iron absorption. Iron loading was optimised at 1% Fe (w/w) lipid since an inverse relation was observed between initial iron concentration and SLN iron incorporation efficiency. Chitosan (Chi) was included to prepare chitosan coated SLN's. Particle size analysis revealed a sub-micron size range (300.3±31.75 nm to 495.1±80.42 nm), with chitosan containing particles having the largest dimensions. As expected, chitosan (0.1%, 0.2% and 0.4% w/v) conferred a net positive charge on the particle surface in a concentration dependent manner. For iron absorption experiments equal doses of Fe (20 μM) from selected formulations (SLN-FeA and SLN-Fe-ChiB) were added to Caco-2 cells and intracellular ferritin protein concentrations determined. Caco-2 iron absorption from SLN-FeA (583.98±40.83 ng/mg cell protein) and chitosan containing SLN-Fe-ChiB (642.77±29.37 ng/mg cell protein) were 13.42% and 24.9% greater than that from ferrous sulphate (FeSO4) reference (514.66±20.43 ng/mg cell protein) (p≤0.05). We demonstrate for the first time preparation, characterisation and superior iron absorption in vitro from SLN's, suggesting the potential of these formulations as a novel system for oral iron delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)400-407
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 18 Nov 2013


  • Administration, Oral
  • Caco-2 Cells
  • Cell Survival
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Ferrous Compounds
  • Humans
  • Iron
  • Lipids
  • Nanoparticles
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Solid lipid nanoparticles
  • Ferrous-sulfate
  • Iron-supplementation
  • Chitosan
  • Caco-2
  • Ferritin


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