[en] Solid lipid microparticles (SLMs) loaded with the sunscreen agent, octyl-dimethyl amino benzoate (ODAB), were prepared in order to achieve enhanced sunscreen photostability. The microparticles were produced by the melt dispersion technique using glyceryl behenate as lipidic material and poloxamer 188 as the emulsifier. The obtained SLMs showed proper features in terms of morphology, size distribution (1.67-15.81 mu m) and ODAB loading (16.15 +/- 0.11%, w/w). The sunscreen release from the SLMs was slower than its dissolution rate and the photodecomposition of ODAB was markedly decreased (> 51.3%) by encapsulation into the lipid microparticles. The efficacy of the SLM carrier system was also evaluated after their introduction in model topical formulations (i.e., hydrogel and oil-in-water emulsion). Further in vitro release measurements, performed using Franz diffusion cells with polycarbonate membranes, indicated that the retention capacity of the microparticles was lost after their incorporation into the emulsion, whereas it was retained in the hydrogel. Moreover, the SLMs achieved a reduction of the sunscreen photodegradation in the hydrogel vehicle (the ODAB loss decreased from 87.4% to 59.1%), whereas no significant photoprotective effect was observed in the emulsion. Therefore, the efficacy of the ODAB-loaded SLMs was markedly affected by the vehicle. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.