- As a consequence of modern drug discovery techniques, there has been a consistent increase in the number of new pharmacologically active lipophilic compounds that are poorly water soluble. A great challenge facing the pharmaceutical scientist is making these molecules into orally administered medications with sufficient bioavailability. One of the most popular approaches to improve the oral bioavailability of these molecules is the utilization of a lipid based drug delivery system. Unfortunately, current development strategies in the area of lipid based delivery systems are mostly empirical. Hence, there is a need for a simplified in vitro method to guide the selection of a suitable lipidic vehicle composition and to rationalize the delivery system design. To address this need, a dynamic in vitro lipolysis model, which provides a very good simulation of the in vivo lipid digestion process, has been developed over the past few years. This model has been extensively used for in vitro assessment of different lipid based delivery systems, leading to enhanced understanding of the suitability of different lipids and surfactants as a delivery system for a given poorly water soluble drug candidate. A key goal in the development of the dynamic in vitro lipolysis model has been correlating the in vitro data of various drug-lipidic delivery system combinations to the resultant in vivo drug profile. In this paper, we discuss and review the need for this model, its underlying theory, practice and limitations, and the available data accumulated in the literature. Overall, the dynamic in vitro lipolysis model seems to provide highly useful initial guidelines in the development process of oral lipid based drug delivery systems for poorly water soluble drugs, and it predicts phenomena that occur in the pre-enterocyte stages of the intestinal absorption cascade.