Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New light shed on liposomes used in drug encapsulation and gene therapies

Date:
February 8, 2011
Source:
University of Granada
Summary:
Scientists in Spain have made significant progress in understanding phospholipid vesicles, which are colloidal systems that have generated considerable interest from the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food industry.

University of Granada scientists and the Spanish Higher Institute for Scientific Research (CSIC) have made significant progress in understanding lipid membranes, which are extensively employed in the development of cosmetic and drug products, and which have potential application in the field of nanotechnology.

Phospholipid vesicles (liposomes) are colloidal systems that have generated considerable interest from the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food industry, since they are biocompatible in protein, nucleic acid, and drug encapsulation. Further, from a scientific perspective, liposomes are considered a model system of cell membranes that have been implemented in the study of biological transport processes through cell membranes, as well as in the study of aggregation processes induced by biological substances.

To develop products of biotechnological interest, understanding thoroughly the electrostatic properties of these membranes is necessary. This was the purpose of Alberto Martín Molina and César Rodríguez Beas, from the Department of Applied Physics of the University of Granada, and Jordi Faraudo from the Instituto de Ciencias de Materiales in Barcelona (CSIC), authors of a study recently published in the journal Physical Review Letters.

Inverting its Electrostatic Charge

The study reveals why certain lipid membranes can invert their surface electrostatic charge -- that is, why these membranes have negative charge, but can function as positive charge material in specific circumstances. This type of membranes are extensively employed in gene therapies.

Such behaviour is due to the fact that the interphase of these membranes in water is soft, permeable and highly hydrated. "Such environment attracts small objects with significant electric charge. These membranes tend to gather in large groups acquiring electric charge," the researchers state. For the purpose of this study, electrophoresis experiments and computer-based simulations were conducted. Such trials were made using a supercomputer belonging to the Spanish Supercomputing Centre, since these trials required a long time and high calculation performance.

After a sustained period of several months, researchers obtained revealing results from simulations, which allowed them to prepare a new inversion mechanism for their experimental system. This mechanism involved using phospholipid membranes to absorb lanthanum cations, which go from being associated to the solution water molecules to associating to the membrane atoms.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Granada. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Alberto Martín-Molina, César Rodríguez-Beas, Jordi Faraudo. Charge Reversal in Anionic Liposomes: Experimental Demonstration and Molecular Origin. Physical Review Letters, 2010; 104 (16) DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.104.168103

Cite This Page:

University of Granada. "New light shed on liposomes used in drug encapsulation and gene therapies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110208091721.htm>.
University of Granada. (2011, February 8). New light shed on liposomes used in drug encapsulation and gene therapies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110208091721.htm
University of Granada. "New light shed on liposomes used in drug encapsulation and gene therapies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110208091721.htm (accessed August 23, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Is It a Plane? No, It's a Hoverbike

Is It a Plane? No, It's a Hoverbike

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 22, 2014) — UK-based Malloy Aeronautics is preparing to test a manned quadcopter capable of out-manouvering a helicopter and presenting a new paradigm for aerial vehicles. A 1/3-sized scale model is already gaining popularity with drone enthusiasts around the world, with the full-sized manned model expected to take flight in the near future. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks

Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) — China's energy revolution could do more harm than good for the environment, despite the country's commitment to reducing pollution and curbing its carbon emissions. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Former TSA X-Ray Scanners Easily Tricked To Miss Weapons

Former TSA X-Ray Scanners Easily Tricked To Miss Weapons

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — Researchers found the scanners could be duped simply by placing a weapon off to the side of the body or encasing it under a plastic shield. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 20, 2014) — Forget rolling on rubber, could car drivers soon be traveling on tires made from dandelions? Teams of scientists are racing to breed a type of the yellow flower whose taproot has a milky fluid with tire-grade rubber particles in it. As Joanna Partridge reports, global tire makers are investing millions in research into a new tire source. Video provided by Reuters
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:
from the past week

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