LIPOSOME – A TRENDING NOVEL DRUG DELIVERY SYSTEM
In recent years, liposomes have garnered significant interest of researchers, as well as industry players, owing to their potential in diagnosis and treatment of various diseases, with a focus on delivering drugs and genetic material.
Liposomes are small, artificial and lipid-based bilayered spherical vesicles, which are created spontaneously by hydrated phospholipids. Owing to their ability to encapsulate bioactive hydrophilic, amphipathic, and lipophilic molecules, liposomes are extensively used as efficient delivery systems for antigens or drugs. They can protect a drug from being detected by the body’s immune system by imitating biological membranes and providing the drug more time to reach its target destination.
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Liposomes offer great therapeutic efficacy and safety. They have several applications in the biomedical field such as delivering drug to the desired site while minimizing drug exposure to normal tissues, increased delivery of potential medications to the cytosol, stabilizing therapeutic compounds, and removing barriers to cellular and tissue absorption.
In addition to the applications, liposomes are gaining popularity across various other fields, including drug delivery, agriculture, cosmetics, and food industry. Due to multiple advantages across diverse application areas, including enhanced biocompatibility, high biodegradability, low toxicity, weak immunogenicity, increased drug solubility, controlled distribution, ability to make surface modifications for targeted, extended, and sustained release, liposomes have been recognized as the most effective delivery system. Currently, there are several liposomal formulations clinically approved for the treatment of various diseases, including cancer, fungal and viral infections, and many are currently in advanced stages of clinical studies. Over the years, several companies involved in the development of liposomes have made significant efforts in conducting clinical trials for evaluating the efficacy of liposome-based therapeutics, for the treatment of various oncological disorders.
Owing to various advantages offered by liposomes, advanced liposome technology is being developed to fully substructure the therapeutic applications of liposomes and extensive research is being conducted to develop methods for liposomal formulation with high level of purity and sensitivity. Further, it is extremely desirable to develop novel manufacturing methods that allow for simple encapsulation of both hydrophobic and hydrophilic molecules without the need of organic solvents, specialized equipment, or complex infrastructures. Additionally, given that liposomes have demonstrated some clinical promise as drug delivery systems, future efforts should focus on enhancing the commercial availability and accessibility of liposome products across the globe, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. applications of liposomes in drug delivery (24%), and protein and peptide delivery (9%), which is indicative of the extensive research activities and clinical trials being conducted to evaluate the therapeutic potential of liposomes.
Despite several advancements, there are various challenges in development of liposomes, for which stakeholders are leveraging the expertise of various contract service providers offering development and manufacturing services. These service providers are actively upgrading their capabilities and infrastructure to accommodate the demand for these vesicles. Driven by the growing research efforts, development of advanced methods for preparation and characterization of liposomes, and efforts of various stakeholders, this segment of industry is likely to witness noteworthy growth in the foreseen future.
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