Physicochemical evaluation of a stability-driven approach to drug entrapment in regular and in surface-modified liposomes

D. Peer, R. Margalit*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The traditional mode of encapsulating drugs in liposomes poses risks to drug stability, especially when recognition agents are attached to the liposomal surface to obtain targeted liposomes. To reduce such risks, we devised a simple, novel method to entrap drugs in liposomes, consisting of (i) preparation and lyophilization of drug-free regular and surface-modifled liposomes and (ii) drug encapsulation in the course of liposome reconstitution through rehydration in an aqueous solution of the drug. In this paper, we report physicochemical studies in which we compared regular and surface-modified liposomes made by this novel approach (denoted N-liposomes) to respective liposomes made by the traditional mode (denoted T-liposomes). The studies were performed with fluorescein, sucrose, histidine, mitomycin C (MMC), and chloramphenicol (CAM) encapsulated (each) in regular and in bioadhesive liposomes, the latter haying hyaluronic acid as the surface-bound ligand. Our major findings are as follows: (1) The drug-specific encapsulation efficiencies spanning the range of 10-90% were, excepting sucrose, either similar in the N-and T-liposomes or better in the N- than in the T-liposomes, for both regular and bioadhesive liposomes. (2) For all liposome types and methods of preparation, fluorescein, histidine, and MMC did not adsorb to the liposomal surface. Sucrose and MMC did adsorb to the liposomal surface irrespective of the liposome preparation mode, sucrose favoring bioadhesive over regular liposomes and MMC having the opposite trend. (3) For both regular and bioadhesive liposomes, the mechanism of drug efflux from the N-liposomes was found to be governed by a single rate constant, as previously found for the T-liposomes. The magnitudes obtained, ranging from 3.5(±0.2) x 10-3 to 400(±17) x 10-3 h-1, were always drug specific and occasionally also liposome type (i.e., regular or bioadhesive) specific. For MMC and CAM, the novel approach rendered liposomes with improved sustained release. The results reported here attest, overall, to the potential of this novel approach, meriting further investigations. Studies currently underway with MMC indicate N-liposomes also have functional advantages. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-190
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 15 Nov 2000


  • Bioadhesion
  • Drug encapsulation
  • Drug release
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Liposomes
  • Lyophilization
  • Modified liposomes


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