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Enhancing the preservation of liposomes: The role of cryoprotectants, lipid formulations and freezing approaches.

Cryobiology (2021-01-06)
Francesca Susa, Giulia Bucca, Tania Limongi, Valentina Cauda, Roberto Pisano
ABSTRACT

In the last decades, liposomes acquired a striking success in the biomedical field thanks to their biocompatibility and drug delivery ability. Many liposomal drug formulations have been already approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and used for the treatment of a wide range of pathologies with or without further engineering. Their clinical application requires strict compliance with high standard quality rules, and it is crucial to employ storage methods that do not affect the integrity of the vesicles and preventing the leakage of their cargo. In this work, the design of a suitable formulation for freeze-drying had been investigated for two different liposomes, DOPC-DOTAP and the PEGylated counterpart, DOPC-DOTAP-DSPE-PEG. The role of various cryoprotectants was evaluated paying attention to their ability to preserve the structural integrity of liposomes. At first, the study was focused on freezing and two methodologies were investigated, quenching in liquid nitrogen and shelf-ramped freezing. This analysis showed that the disaccharides (cellobiose, glucose, lactose, sucrose, and trehalose) and the polyol (mannitol) protected successfully the integrity of liposomes, while during the process, in the presence of a surfactant, liposomes were strongly damaged and fragmented by the ice crystals. Furthermore, the choice of the rate of freezing depended on the different compositions of the lipid bilayer. Finally, the effects of lyophilization on liposomes with and without additives were studied; cellobiose, lactose and trehalose showed encouraging results for the maintenance of the morpho-functional parameters of liposomes during the entire freeze-drying process.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

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