Preparation of Nanoliposomes Filled with Alginate Hydrogels for Drug Delivery Application



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There is growing need and interest in nanomaterials that can carry and deliver drugs to diseased sites in the body. One of the carriers with great potential for this purpose is nanoliposomes. Nanoliposomes, sphere-shaped nano-vesicles with one or more phospholipid bilayers, are known for their ability to carry hydrophilic and/or hydrophobic drugs. These materials are however, not stable and need further improvement to provide higher stability. In Dr. Majd’s lab, one of the projects is focused on development of delivery nanoliposomes with enhanced stability and robustness. This lab has been developing multiple ways to encapsulate polymeric materials inside liposomes to provide physical support for the membrane. As part of this effort, the goal of my project for this summer is to establish a fabrication method to prepare alginate hydrogel inside liposomes. Alginate is a natural hydrogel and because of its high biocompatibility, this hydrogel has been widely used for biomedical applications. To create alginate in nanoliposomes, I will prepare nanoliposomes using the method of lipid film dehydration/rehydration, in the presence of alginic acid. When alginic acid is entrapped inside liposomes, it can be crosslinked when exposed to calcium ions, forming alginate gel. I will optimize this protocol to generate nanoliposomes filled with alginate with <200 nm diameter and good colloidal stability in a reproducible manner. Once this protocol is established, I will examine the effect of lipid membrane composition, alginate, and calcium ion concentrations on properties of these nanoliposomes.