Polysorbate-based drug formulations for brain-targeted drug delivery and anticancer therapy

Vasanthan Ravichandran, Minjong Lee, Thuy Giang Nguyen Cao, Min Suk Shim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Polysorbates (PSs) are synthetic nonionic surfactants consisting of polyethoxy sorbitan fatty acid esters. PSs have been widely employed as emulsifiers and stabilizers in various drug formulations and food additives. Recently, various PS-based formulations have been developed for safe and efficient drug delivery. This review introduces the general features of PSs and PS-based drug carriers, summarizes recent progress in the development of PS-based drug formulations, and discusses the physicochemical properties, biological safety, P-glycoprotein inhibitory properties, and therapeutic applications of PS-based drug formulations. Additionally, recent advances in brain-targeted drug delivery using PS-based drug formulations have been highlighted. This review will help researchers understand the potential of PSs as effective drug formulation agents.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9336
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number19
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Blood–brain barrier
  • Cancer therapy
  • Drug delivery
  • Polysorbate
  • Surfactants


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