The metabolism of fatty alcohols in lipid nanoparticles by alcohol dehydrogenase

Xiaowei Dong, R. J. Mumper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations


Fatty alcohols are commonly used in lipid-based drug delivery systems including parenteral emulsions and solid lipid nanoparticles (NPs). The purpose of these studies was to determine whether horse liver alcohol dehydrogenase (HLADH), a NAD-dependent enzyme, could metabolize the fatty alcohols within the NPs and thus serve as a mechanism to degrade these NPs in the body. Solid nanoparticles (<100 nm) were engineered from oil-inwater microemulsion precursors using emulsifying wax NF as the oil phase and polyoxyethylene 20-stearyl ether (Brij 78) as the surfactant. Emulsifying waxcontains both cetyl and stearyl alcohols. NPs were incubated with the enzyme and NAD+ at 37°C for up to 48 h, and the concentrations of fatty alcohols were quantitatively determined over time by gas chromatography (GC). The concentrations of cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol within the NPs decreased to only 10-20% remaining after 15-24 h of incubation. In parallel, NP size, turbidity and the fluorescence intensity of NADH all increased over time. It was concluded that horse liver alcohol dehydrogenase/NAD+ was able to metabolize the fatty alcohols within the NPs, suggesting that NPs made of fatty alcohols may be metabolized in the body via endogenous alcohol dehydrogenase enzyme systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)973-980
Number of pages8
JournalDrug Development and Industrial Pharmacy
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2006


  • Cetyl alcohol
  • Enzyme
  • Gas chromatography
  • Polyoxyethylene 20-stearyl ether (Brij 78)
  • Surfactant
  • β-nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD )

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The metabolism of fatty alcohols in lipid nanoparticles by alcohol dehydrogenase'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this