Preparation and Characterization of Hydrogel-Core Liposomes for Drug Delivery Applications



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Liposomes are amongst the most effective delivery vehicles developed to date. Despite many advantages including biocompatibility, biodegradability, and the ability to carry both hydrophilic and lipophilic compounds, liposomes suffer from low physical stability and controlled drug release. Inclusion of a polymeric scaffold within the core of liposomes can effectively address this limitation. Given the versatility of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) hydrogels, these polymers are particularly attractive for the use in liposomal core. Towards development of robust liposomal delivery systems, here we aim to develop a simple and reliable technique for the fabrication of liposomes with hydrogel cores. We assess the resultant nanoparticles (NPs) using scanning electron microscopy and dynamic light scattering and demonstrate that the presented approach can successfully produce gel-liposome nanoparticles with spherical shape and 100-300 nm size. These nanoparticles are further evaluated for colloidal stability in physiological solution. Moreover, we demonstrate the versatility of this method by studying the effect of changing (A) the membrane composition in liposomes, (B) the polymer and cross-linker concentration in liposomal core, and (C) the polymer content on the formation of hydrogel-core liposomes.



Liposomes, Lipids, Drug delivery, Nanoparticles, Nanogel, Nanomedicine, Phospholipids, Hydrogel, Poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)