Engineering intelligent particle-lipid composites that control lipase-mediated digestion
Nanostructured particle-lipid composites have emerged as state-of-the-art carrier systems for poorly water-soluble bioactive molecules due to their ability to control and enhance the lipase-mediated hydrolysis of encapsulated triglycerides, leading to a subsequent improvement in the solubilisation and absorption of encapsulated species. The first generation of particle-lipid composites (i.e. silica-lipid hybrid (SLH) microparticles) were designed and fabricated by spray drying a silica nanoparticle-stabilised Pickering emulsion, to create a novel three-dimensional architecture, whereby lipid droplets were encapsulated within a porous matrix support. The development of SLH microparticles has acted as a solid foundation for the synthesis of several next generation particle-lipid composites, including polymer-lipid hybrid (PLH) and clay-lipid hybrid systems (CLH), which present lipase with unique lipid microenvironments for optimised lipolysis. This review details the methods utilised to engineer lipid hybrid particles and the strategic investigations that have been performed to determine the influence of key material characteristics on digestion enzyme activity. In doing so, this provides insight into manipulating the mechanism of lipase action through the intelligent design of lipid-based biomaterials for their use in drug delivery formulations and novel functional foods.