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Liposome: classification, preparation, and applications

Abolfazl Akbarzadeh1*, Rogaie Rezaei-Sadabady12, Soodabeh Davaran1, Sang Woo Joo5*, Nosratollah Zarghami1*, Younes Hanifehpour5, Mohammad Samiei3, Mohammad Kouhi4 and Kazem Nejati-Koshki1

Author affiliations

1 Department of Medical Nanotechnology, Faculty of Advanced Medical Science, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz 51664, Iran

2 Department of Biology, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Endodontics, Dental School, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

4 Department of Physics, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran

5 School of Mechanical Engineering, WCU Nanoresearch Center, Yeungnam University, Gyeongsan 712-749, South Korea

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Citation and License

Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:102  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-102

Published: 22 February 2013


Liposomes, sphere-shaped vesicles consisting of one or more phospholipid bilayers, were first described in the mid-60s. Today, they are a very useful reproduction, reagent, and tool in various scientific disciplines, including mathematics and theoretical physics, biophysics, chemistry, colloid science, biochemistry, and biology. Since then, liposomes have made their way to the market. Among several talented new drug delivery systems, liposomes characterize an advanced technology to deliver active molecules to the site of action, and at present, several formulations are in clinical use. Research on liposome technology has progressed from conventional vesicles to ‘second-generation liposomes’, in which long-circulating liposomes are obtained by modulating the lipid composition, size, and charge of the vesicle. Liposomes with modified surfaces have also been developed using several molecules, such as glycolipids or sialic acid. This paper summarizes exclusively scalable techniques and focuses on strengths, respectively, limitations in respect to industrial applicability and regulatory requirements concerning liposomal drug formulations based on FDA and EMEA documents.

Liposomes; Glycolipids; Drug formulations; Drug delivery systems