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Rapid formation of Small Unilamellar Vesicles (SUV) through low-frequency sonication: An innovative approach.

Colloids and surfaces. B, Biointerfaces (2019-06-30)
Camila Fabiano de Freitas, Italo Rodrigo Calori, André Luiz Tessaro, Wilker Caetano, Noboru Hioka

Liposomes are membrane models and excellent Drug Delivery Systems. However, their preparation is expensive, labor intensive, time consuming, and sometimes toxic. Recently, we published an innovative methodology for the production of homogeneous Small Unilamellar Vesicles (SUV) through a simple, fast, relatively low cost, and reproducible process that resulted in very stable vesicles. The methodology involves a small amount of F127 triblock Pluronic® copolymer (0.02% m/V) to a phospholipid (DPPC, DOPC, and DSPC), followed by the solid dispersion methodology. After that, during the thin-film hydration process (of lipids and F127), SUVs are quickly formed after 30 s of sonication using bath equipment at a low frequency of 42 kHz. The resultant colloidal solution was homogeneous with liposomes lower than ˜100 nm of hydrodynamic diameter. The SUV formation is highly temperature dependent. However, it functions independently from the lipid´s phase (gel or liquid-crystal phases). A preparation with Pluronic P123 did not lead to homogeneous SUV. We found that the conditions for SUV formation feature a mixture of F127 and lipids at above a critical temperature. This temperature is not the copolymer´s CMT (micelle is not required). Interestingly, the long PEO groups of F127 play an essential role in this SUV formation, which is proposed to be governed by the "Budding Off" model. The findings show a complex combination of factors: a sum of the sonoporation, the oscillation effects of the compressed/dilated regions, the frequency of oscillation, and the temperature-dependence on long PEO groups. Also, the outer lipid monolayer interaction might by responsible for generating "daughter" vesicles from "mother" vesicles in the mechanism.

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1,2-Dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine, lyophilized powder