A quality by design (QbD) case study on liposomes containing hydrophilic API: II. Screening of critical variables, and establishment of design space at laboratory scale. Academic Article uri icon


  • Two statistical designs were used in this case study as part of an investigation into the feasibility and the advantages of applying QbD concepts to liposome-based complex parenteral controlled release systems containing a hydrophilic active pharmaceutical ingredient (API). The anti-viral drug tenofovir was used as a model compound. First design (Plackett-Burman) was used to screen eight high-risk variables obtained from risk analysis and assess their impact on liposome characteristics (drug encapsulation efficiency, particle size, and physical stability). It was discovered that out of eight high-risk variables only lipid and drug concentration had significant effects on the drug encapsulation efficiency. This allowed the use of a central composite design (CCD) (with more predictive capability) to fully elucidate the relationship between lipid concentration, drug concentration and encapsulation efficiency. On comparing the CCD model generated response surface with additional data points, the accuracy and robustness of the model was confirmed. Using this developed model, the design space for tenofovir liposomes preparation has been established in a laboratory setting, within which the preparation variability is minimized. With regard to sample storage stability, it was shown that at 4C the prepared tenofovir liposomes, dispersed in aqueous phase, achieved stability for at least 2 years. These principles can be applied to liposomes containing other hydrophilic APIs, and can provide time and cost saving to industrial formulation scientists, and result in a more robust liposome preparation process.

published proceedings

  • Int J Pharm

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Xu, X., Khan, M. A., & Burgess, D. J.

citation count

  • 90

complete list of authors

  • Xu, Xiaoming||Khan, Mansoor A||Burgess, Diane J

publication date

  • February 2012