What Regulates The Flow Of Water Through A Cell Membrane Liposome – Types and Uses

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Liposome – Types and Uses

A liposome is a vesicle or tiny bubble that consists of the same components as the cell membrane. Liposomes are drug stores that have been found to be useful in the treatment of cancer and various other diseases.

Discovery

British hematologist – Dr. Alec D Bangham FRS first discovered liposomes at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge in 1961.

Derivation of the name

Liposome got its name from the Greek words – ‘Lipos’ (fat) and ‘Soma’ (body). Liposomes can have different molecular sizes and therefore can present a unilamellar or multilamellar structure. Nanosomes are liposomes in the low nanometer range. However, nanosomes contain water, while liposomes do not.

Composition

Phospholipids are the building blocks of cell membranes, and these head-and-tail molecules also make up liposomes. The head group of phospholipids attracts water, while the long tail of the hydrocarbon chain repels water. Liposomes consist of naturally occurring phospholipids that have mixed lipid chains. They may also consist of DOPE (dioleoylphosphatidylethanolamine) like pure surfactants.

Types

There are three types of liposomes:

· MLV or multi-lamellar vesicles

· SUV or small uni-lamellar vesicles

· LUV or large uni-lamellar vesicles

Use it

· Liposomes are intensively used in the preparation of medicines due to their unique properties.

· They are also used in various gene delivery applications such as lipofection where DNA is transformed into the host cell.

· They are used as carriers when dyeing textiles

· They also act as carriers in plant pesticides, enzymes and various nutritional supplements and cosmetics.

· Liposomes are widely used in nanocosmetology and have several advantages.

· One of the strongest advantages of liposomes remains cancer targeting.

Production

Liposomes and nanoliposomes do not form spontaneously. Liposomes can be synthesized by sonication of phospholipids in water. Decreasing shear rates opens up space for multilamellar liposomes, and continuous flow of high shear sonication leads to smaller unilamellar liposomes. Processes such as the Mozafari method and extrusion are used to produce liposomes for human use.

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