Surfactant Solubilization

Surfactant Solubilization

About 40% of drugs with market approval are poorly water-soluble and fail to reach market on account of their poor aqueous solubility. Surfactant solubilization is an effective approach to increase the solubility of poorly soluble drugs. One reason that surfactant is useful is that, under suitable conditions, their aqueous solutions are able to dissolve substantial amounts of compounds that have very low solubility in water. Similarly, surfactant can greatly increase the solubility of water and other polar compounds in hydrocarbons and other liquids of low polarity. This phenomenon, which involves incorporation of the solute by aggregates of surfactant molecules, is known as solubilization. It occurs not only for small surfactant aggregates such as (nearly) spherical micelles but also for larger aggregates such as microemulsion drops, vesicles, and cylindrical and plate-like micelles.

Types of surfactant:

  • Non-ionic (e.g, Polysorbate, Pluronic)
  • Anionic (e.g, Sodium lauryl sulfate)
  • Cationic (e.g, Benzalkonium bromide )
  • Zwitterionic (e.g, Lecithin)
  • Fluorine, silicon surfactant
  • Polymer surfactant (e.g, Kollidon®)
  • Natural surfactant (e.g, Acacia, Agar, Gelatin)

Applications of Surfactant:

  • Difficult water-soluble steroids
  • Fat-soluble vitamins (vitamin A, D, E)
  • Alkaloid
  • Insoluble antibiotics (chloramphenicol, griseofulvin, oxytetracycline, tetracycline, etc.)
  • Aromatic oil
  • Sulfonamides
  • Salicylic acid
  • Tincture

BOC Sciences has strong expertise and many years of experience in the application of surfactant solubilization. Our goal is to come up with formulation solutions that are tailored and optimized to fit the compound and the specific needs of our customers. Working with our experts, you can leverage their extensive dissolution expertise and experience with all key technologies. Our experts can use industry-leading tools to help you speed up your formulation. Whether you want to make your medications more effective, safer, or patient-friendly, we can provide you with the solutions you need.


  1. Chaudhary, A., Nagaich, U., Gulati, N., Sharma, V. K., Khosa, R. L., & Partapur, M. U. (2012). Enhancement of solubilization and bioavailability of poorly soluble drugs by physical and chemical modifications: A recent review. J Adv Pharm Educ Res, 2(1), 32-67.
  2. Kalepu, S., & Nekkanti, V. (2015). Insoluble drug delivery strategies: review of recent advances and business prospects. Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B, 5(5), 442-453.

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