Lipid nature and their influence on opening of redox-active liposomes

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The pathway for content release from reduction-sensitive liposomes based on a quinone-dioleoylphosphatidylethanolamine lipid conjugate (Q-DOPE) is outlined using results from fluorescent dye content release assays as well as single- and multiple-angle light scattering. Experimental observations are consistent with a shape/size change of the reduced liposomes prior to their aggregation, with subsequent near-quantitative content release achieved only when the lipid membrane experiences conditions favorable to a lamellar to an inverted hexagonal phase transition. Addition of poly(ethyleneglycol)-modified DOPE (PEG-DOPE) to the Q-DOPE liposomal formulation results in stabilization of the lipid bilayer, whereas incorporation of DOPE yields faster content release. At high DOPE concentrations, DOPE/PEG-DOPE/Q-DOPE liposomes exhibit larger content release, indicating a change in pathway for content release. The outcomes here provide a better understanding of the underlying principles of triggered liposomal content release and the potential utility of specific lipid properties for the rational design of drug delivery systems based on the novel Q-DOPE lipid. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

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