The aim of the present study was to study the efficiency of different techniques used for nanosizing liposomes. Further, the aim was also to evaluate the effect of process parameters of extrusion techniques used for nanosizing liposomes on the size and size distribution of the resultant liposomes. To compare the efficiency of different nanosizing techniques, the following techniques were used to nanosize the liposomes: extrusion, ultrasonication, freeze-thaw sonication (FTS), sonication and homogenization. The extrusion technique was found to be the most efficient, followed by FTS, ultrasonication, sonication and homogenization. The extruder used in the present study was fabricated using readily available and relatively inexpensive apparatus. Process parameters were varied in extrusion technique to study their effect on the size and size distribution of extruded liposomes. The results obtained indicated that increase in the flow rate of the extrusion process decreased the size of extruded liposomes however the size homogeneity was negatively impacted. Furthermore, the liposome size and distribution was found to decline with decreasing membrane pore size. It was found that by extruding through a filter with a pore size of 0.2 µm and above, the liposomes produced were smaller than the pore size, whereas, when they were extruded through a filter with a pore size of less than 0.2 µm the resultant liposomes were slightly bigger than the nominal pore size. Besides that, increment of extrusion temperature above transition temperature of the pro-liposome had no effect on the size and size distribution of the extruded liposomes. In conclusion, the extrusion technique was reproducible and effective among all the methods evaluated. Furthermore, processing parameters used in extrusion technique would affect the size and size distribution of liposomes. Therefore, the process parameters need to be optimized to obtain a desirable size range and homogeneity, reproducible for various in vivo applications.
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