By Jim Huang, PhD, Founder & CEO, Ascendia Pharmaceuticals
Emulsions, which are composed of nano-sized droplets dispersed in a continuous phase, can be classified into either oil-in-water (O/W) or water-in-oil (W/O). Emulsions have many practical applications in the agriculture, food, cosmetic, pesticide, and pharmaceutical industries. Emulsions can be used to deliver active ingredients by multiple routes of administration, such as topical, oral, nasal, ophthalmic, or injectables. Oil-in-water emulsions have gained significant application in the drug delivery of lipophilic drugs or nutrition supplements by parenteral, oral, and topical routes of administration, whereas water-in-oil emulsions have increased their application for delivery of hydrophilic small molecules and biologicals, such as large molecules, DNA, RNA, and peptides.