Research RoundUp: MIPS research uncovers advantages of using liposomes for oral drug discovery

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MIPS researcher Ben Boyd from Drug Delivery Disposition & Dynamics has recently been published in the Journal of Controlled Release on liposome exposure. Liposomes are tiny tennis ball-like structures that are used to change the way that drugs are carried around the body to reduce side effects and optimise therapy, particularly in cancer treatment.

The drug is usually dissolved in the water-filled core of the liposome which means that the liposomes keep their normal round shape. However researchers have recently developed ways to make the drugs crystallise inside the liposomes.

This presents two main advantages, firstly their shape is then more like a football than a tennis ball which changes the way that the drug is transported through the body and interacts with cells to release the drug where it is required. The second is that a high loading of drug is able to achieved with reduced likelihood of leaking out.

In considering advantages of the high loading and the tiny ‘nanocrystals’ of drug inside the liposomes for oral administration we exposed the drug to simulated gastrointestinal fluids. Unexpectedly, the biological detergents that are present in our gut known as bile salts, interact with the drug changing it to a different form, which has important consequences for the release of drugs from these systems and adds to the understanding of the use of liposomes in oral drug delivery.

Article: Exposure of liposomes containing nanocrystallised ciprofloxacin to digestive media induces solid-state transformation and altered in vitro drug release

MIPS authors: Tang Li and Ben Boyd

Access the article here