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Liposome

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(Redirected from Liposomes)

A liposome is a spherical vesicle with a membrane composed of a phospholipid bilayer used to deliver drugs or genetic material into a cell. Liposomes can be composed of naturally-derived phospholipids with mixed lipid chains (like egg phosphatidylethanolamine), or of pure components like DOPE (dioleolylphosphatidylethanolamine).

The lipid bilayer can fuse with other bilayers (e.g., the cell membrane), thus delivering the liposome contents. By making liposomes in a solution of DNA or drugs,(which would normally be unable to diffuse through the membrane), they can be (indiscriminately) delivered past the lipid bilayer.

The use of liposomes for transormation or transfection of DNA into a host cell is known as lipofection.

Liposomes can be created by sonicating phospholipids in water. Low shear rates create multilamellar liposomes, which have many layers like an onion. Continued high-shear sonication tends to form smaller unilamellar liposomes. In this technique, the liposome contents are the same as the contents of the aqueous phase.

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