Next Article in Journal
Design of Olanzapine/Lutrol Solid Dispersions of Improved Stability and Performances
Next Article in Special Issue
Phototriggerable Liposomes: Current Research and Future Perspectives
Previous Article in Journal / Special Issue
Liposome Formulation of Fullerene-Based Molecular Diagnostic and Therapeutic Agents
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Pharmaceutics 2013, 5(4), 542-569;

Surface Engineering of Liposomes for Stealth Behavior

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, 1110 North Stonewall Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73117, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 September 2013 / Revised: 10 October 2013 / Accepted: 14 October 2013 / Published: 25 October 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liposome Technologies)
Full-Text   |   PDF [692 KB, uploaded 25 October 2013]   |  


Liposomes are used as a delivery vehicle for drug molecules and imaging agents. The major impetus in their biomedical applications comes from the ability to prolong their circulation half-life after administration. Conventional liposomes are easily recognized by the mononuclear phagocyte system and are rapidly cleared from the blood stream. Modification of the liposomal surface with hydrophilic polymers delays the elimination process by endowing them with stealth properties. In recent times, the development of various materials for surface engineering of liposomes and other nanomaterials has made remarkable progress. Poly(ethylene glycol)-linked phospholipids (PEG-PLs) are the best representatives of such materials. Although PEG-PLs have served the formulation scientists amazingly well, closer scrutiny has uncovered a few shortcomings, especially pertaining to immunogenicity and pharmaceutical characteristics (drug loading, targeting, etc.) of PEG. On the other hand, researchers have also begun questioning the biological behavior of the phospholipid portion in PEG-PLs. Consequently, stealth lipopolymers consisting of non-phospholipids and PEG-alternatives are being developed. These novel lipopolymers offer the potential advantages of structural versatility, reduced complement activation, greater stability, flexible handling and storage procedures and low cost. In this article, we review the materials available as alternatives to PEG and PEG-lipopolymers for effective surface modification of liposomes. View Full-Text
Keywords: stealth liposomes; complement proteins; poly(ethylene glycol); lipopolymer stealth liposomes; complement proteins; poly(ethylene glycol); lipopolymer

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Nag, O.K.; Awasthi, V. Surface Engineering of Liposomes for Stealth Behavior. Pharmaceutics 2013, 5, 542-569.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Pharmaceutics EISSN 1999-4923 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top