Liposomes: Properties and Therapeutic Applications

Liposomes: Properties and Therapeutic Applications

Ljiljana Djekic (University of Belgrade, Serbia)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 25
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0751-2.ch002


This chapter reviews the current progress in liposome based pharmaceuticals with particular emphasis on the carrier design, size, surface properties, drug delivery performances and therapeutic applications for different routes of administration. There were described selected examples of encapsulation of drug substances by liposomes which allowed improvement of therapeutic index of cytotoxic drugs (such as antineoplastics, antibiotics) or sustained drug release and reduction of the frequency of administration of analgesics and local anesthetics, and potentiate the immunogenicity of vaccines against hepatitis A and influenza. Furthermore, the performances of the marketed pharmaceuticals which represent pulmonary surfactant substituents (in the form of liposome vesicles) in premature infants and topical preparations with high molecular weight actives (e.g., heparin sodium) encapsulated in liposomes, were highlighted. The most important factors that affect the development of new drugs with this type of nanomaterials and their safety were commented.
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Liposomes were first investigated in 1976 as colloidal carriers for insulin in order to protect the drug against potential proteolysis in gastrointestinal tract (GIT) (Dapergolas & Gregoriadis, 1976). Until now, this field of investigations is at the preclinical level, primarily due to limited stability of liposomal carriers in the GIT. On the other hand, encapsulation of drug substances in this type of carriers becomes important strategy in development of pharmaceutical preparations for different routes of administration (De Villiers et al., 2009; Farokhzad & Langer, 2009; Park, 2007). Curently available pharmaceutical products based on liposomes are predominantly parenteral preparations for intravenous (i.v.), intramuscular (i.m.), subcutaneous (s.c.), and intrathecal (i.t.) administration. Liposomal based products for cutaneous and intratracheal administration are also on the market (Table 1).

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