The partitioning of poorly soluble drugs into an aqueous micellar phase was exploited using an in vitro lipid digestion model, simulating the events taking place during digestion of acylglycerols in the duodenum. The aqueous micellar phase was isolated after ultracentrifugation of samples obtained at different degrees of triacylglycerol hydrolysis. Flupentixol, 1'-[4-[1-(4-fluorophenyl)-1-H-indol-3-yl]-1-butyl]spiro[iso-benzofuran-1(3H), 4' piperidine] (LU 28-179) and probucol were studied. The effect of the alkyl chain length of the triacylglycerol was studied using a medium-chain triacylglycerol (MCT) and a long-chain triacylglycerol (LCT), respectively. In general, an oil solution was used as the lipid source in the model. Samples were analysed in regard to micellar size, lipid composition and drug concentration. During lipolysis, the content of lipolytic products in the aqueous micellar phase increased. The micellar size (R(H) approximately 3 nm) only increased when long-chain lipolytic products were incorporated in the mixed micelles (R(H) approximately 7.8 nm). Flupentixol was quickly transferred to the mixed micelles due to high solubility in this phase (100% released). A tendency towards higher solubilisation of LU 28-179, when it was administered in the LCT (approximately 24% released) compared to when it was administered in the MCT (approximately 15% released) at 70% hydrolysis, and a lagphase was observed. There was no difference in the solubilisation of probucol using MCT or LCT ( approximately 20% released), respectively. Differences in the physicochemical properties of the drugs resulted in differences in their distribution between the phases arising during lipolysis.