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Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research article

Metformin loaded non-ionic surfactant vesicles: optimization of formulation, effect of process variables and characterization

Anchal Sankhyan and Pravin K Pawar*

Author Affiliations

Chitkara College of Pharmacy, Chitkara University, Chandigarh-Patiala Highway, Rajpura, Patiala, Punjab, 140401, India

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DARU Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 2013, 21:7  doi:10.1186/2008-2231-21-7

Published: 11 January 2013



Metformin an oral hypoglycemic has been widely used as a fist line of treatment of Type II Diabetes but in a very high dose 2–3 times a day and moreover suffers from a number of side effects like lactic acidosis, gastric discomfort, chest pain, allergic reactions being some of them. The present work was conducted with the aim of sustaining the release of metformin so as to decrease its side effects and also reduce its dosing frequency using a novel delivery system niosomes (non-ionic surfactant vesicles). Non-ionic surfactant vesicles of different surfactants were prepared using thin film hydration technique and were investigated for morphology, entrapment, in-vitro release, TEM (transmission electron microscopy) and physical stability. Optimized formulation was further studied for the effect of Surfactant concentration, DCP (Dicetyl phosphate), Surfactant: cholesterol ratio and volume of hydration. The release studies data was subjected to release kinetics models.


The prepared vesicles were uniform and spherical in size. Optimized formulation MN3 entrapped the drug with 84.50±0.184 efficiency in the vesicles of the size 487.60±2.646 and showed the most sustained release of 73.89±0.126. Also it was resulted that 100 molar concentration of cholesterol and surfactant, Presence of DCP, equimolar ratio of span 60: cholesterol and 15 ml of volume of hydration were found to be optimum for miosome preparation.


The present work concluded metformin loaded niosomes to be effective in sustaining the drug release leading to decreased side effects and increased patient compliance.

Anti-diabetic; Niosomes; Metformin; Dicetyl phosphate; Sustained release