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WHAT IS A LIPOSOME?

The name liposome is derived from two Greek words: 'Lipos' meaning fat and 'Soma' meaning body.

DEFINITION

An artificial microscopic vesicle consisting of an aqueous core enclosed in one or more phospholipid layers.

In other words a liposome is a tiny 'nano' sized bubble or sphere (vesicle) made from a phospholipid (in our case, phosphatidylcholine). This is the same material of which our cell membranes consist. These bubbles can be filled with substances such as Vitamin C, Glutathione or even drugs.

Liposomes have the ability to carry either water or fat-soluble payloads, which makes them an ideal delivery system.

FORMATION

Phospholipids are amphiphilic, they consist of a hydrophilic (water loving) head and hydrophobic (water hating) tail.

When phospholipids are placed in an aqueous solution, the hydrophobic tails face each other avoiding the water and forming a phospholipid bilayer while the hydrophilic heads form hydrogen bonds with the water molecules.

The lipid bilayer will form a closed sphere (liposome) to completely exclude water from the hydrophobic tail.

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