Pharmaceutical development and technology

Influence of different surfactants on the physicochemical properties of elastic liposomes.

PMID 27050395


Elastic liposomes are capable to improve drug transport through the skin by acting as penetration enhancers due to the high fluidity and elasticity of the liposome membranes. Therefore, elastic liposomes were prepared and characterized to facilitate the transdermal transport of bioactive molecules. Liposomes consisted of dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) as the structural component, with different surfactants derived from lauric acid as elastic components: C12E5 (polyoxyethylene-5-lauryl ether), PEG4L (polyethyleneglycol-4-lauryl ester), PEG4DL (polyethylene glycol-4-dilauryl ester), PEG8L (polyethylene glycol-8-lauryl ester) and PEG8DL (polyethylene glycol-8-dilauryl ester). The elastic liposomes were characterized in terms of their phospholipid content, mean diameter, size distribution, elasticity and stability during storage, as well as their ability to incorporate surfactant and permeate through 50 nm pore size membranes. The results showed that the phospholipid phase transition temperature, the fluidity of the lipid bilayer resulting from incorporation of the surfactant and the preservation of particle integrity were factors determining the performance of the elastic liposomes in permeating through nanoporous membranes. The best results were obtained using DMPC combined with the surfactants PEG8L or PEG8DL. The findings demonstrate the potential of using elastic liposomes for transdermal administration of drugs.