Significance of the nonionic surfactants-a pharmaceutical approach

József Papp, R. Zelkó

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


There are numerous applications of nonionic surfactants in pharmaceutical technology. The chemical structure of nonionic surfactants possesses several advantages over other types of surfactants. They are very useful in chemical blends and mixtures because of their electrical neutrality. Several groups are readily biodegradable and are made from renewable raw materials. Their chemical modifications ensure that there is a possibility to choose the appropriate raw material for the required purpose. Generally nonionic surfactants are applied in combination with all other three types of surfactants. They retain this utility over a broad range of pH values and their HLBs can vary in a great spectrum, depending on structure. This neutrality makes them also capable for combining with sensitive, not readily combinable drugs. Among these the low cost, the stability, the toxicological safety, and the broad spectrum of ingredients as well as the good processibility have led to exploitation of their pharmaceutical application. According to these there are many applications in different fields of drug administration, such as transdermal-, parenteral-, and peroral pathways. The physical-chemical characteristics of these materials allow the reduction of the size of drug carrier vesicles, which leads to more improved bioavailability. Additionally the modification of their composition results in surface changing of the drug carrying vesicles, thus ensuring targeting. The given experimental examples reveal some of these processes and highlight the importance of the nonionic surfactants in the pharmaceutical technology.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNon-Ionic Surfactants
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781614704348
ISBN (Print)9781607414346
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2009


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Papp, J., & Zelkó, R. (2009). Significance of the nonionic surfactants-a pharmaceutical approach. In Non-Ionic Surfactants (pp. 239-244). Nova Science Publishers, Inc..