Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Liposome-hydrogel hybrids: No toil, no trouble for stronger bubbles

Date:
June 14, 2010
Source:
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Summary:
Researchers have developed a method to combine liposomes and particles of hydrogel in a hybrid nanoscale particle that may one day travel directly to specific cells such as tumors, pass easily though the target's cell membrane, and then slowly release a drug payload.

Schematic depicting the creation of liposome-hydrogel hybrids. A solution containing phospholipid ("liposome precursor") mixes with a solution containing hydrogel precursor (a). Blending together at the interface of the two channels, the phospholipid forms liposomes (b) that trap the hydrogel precursor inside. Material outside the vesicles is removed (c) and the liposomes are UV irradiated. This polymerizes the protein chains in the hydrogel and yields a liposome-hydrogel hybrid (d).
Credit: NIST

People have been combining materials to bring forth the best properties of both ever since copper and tin were merged to start the Bronze Age. In the latest successful merger, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the University of Maryland (UM) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have developed a method to combine two substances that individually have generated interest for their potential biomedical applications: a phospholipid membrane "bubble" called a liposome and particles of hydrogel, a water-filled network of polymer chains.

Related Articles


The combination forms a hybrid nanoscale (billionth of a meter) particle that may one day travel directly to specific cells such as tumors, pass easily though the target's cell membrane, and then slowly release a drug payload.

In a recent paper in the journal Langmuir, the research team reviewed how liposomes and hydrogel nanoparticles have individual advantages and disadvantages for drug delivery. While liposomes have useful surface properties that allow them to target specific cells and pass through membranes, they can rupture if the surrounding environment changes. Hydrogel nanoparticles are more stable and possess controlled release capabilities to tune the dosage of a drug over time, but are prone to degradation and clumping. The researchers' goal was to engineer nanoparticles incorporating both components to utilize the strengths of each material while compensating for their weaknesses.

To manufacture their liposome-hydrogel hybrid vesicles, the researchers adapted a NIST-UM technique known as COMMAND for COntrolled Microfluidic Mixing And Nanoparticle Determination that uses a microscopic fluidic (microfluidic) device (see "NIST, Maryland Researchers COMMAND a Better Class of Liposomes" in NIST Tech Beat, April 27, 2010). In the new work, phospholipid molecules are dissolved in isopropyl alcohol and fed via a tiny (21 micrometers in diameter, or three times the size of a yeast cell) inlet channel into a "mixer" channel, then "focused" into a fluid jet by a water-based solution added through two side channels. Hydrogel precursor molecules are mixed in with the focusing fluid.

As the components blend together at the interfaces of the fluid streams, the phospholipid molecules self-assemble into nanoscale vesicles of controlled size and trap the monomers in solution inside. The newly formed vesicles then are irradiated with ultraviolet light to polymerize the hydrogel precursors they carry into a solid gel made up of cross-linked chains. These chains give strength to the vesicles while permitting them to retain the spherical shape of the liposome envelope (which, in turn, would facilitate passage through a cell membrane).

To turn the liposome-hydrogel hybrid vesicles into cellular delivery vehicles, a drug or other cargo would be added to the focusing fluid during production.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jennifer S. Hong, Samuel M. Stavis, Silvia H. DePaoli Lacerda, Laurie E. Locascio, Srinivasa R. Raghavan, Michael Gaitan. Microfluidic Directed Self-Assembly of Liposome%u2212Hydrogel Hybrid Nanoparticles. Langmuir, 2010: 100429105250028 DOI: 10.1021/la100879p

Cite This Page:

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). "Liposome-hydrogel hybrids: No toil, no trouble for stronger bubbles." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100609171847.htm>.
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). (2010, June 14). Liposome-hydrogel hybrids: No toil, no trouble for stronger bubbles. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100609171847.htm
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). "Liposome-hydrogel hybrids: No toil, no trouble for stronger bubbles." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100609171847.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) Brave Robotics and Asratec teamed with original Transformers toy company Tomy to create a functional 5-foot-tall humanoid robot that can march and fold itself into a 3-foot-long sports car. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) A California-based startup has designed new law enforcement technology that aims to automatically alert dispatch when an officer's gun is unholstered and fired. Two law enforcement agencies are currently testing the technology. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins