Block Liposomes. Vesicles of Charged Lipids with Distinctly Shaped Nanoscale Sphere-, Pear-, Tube-, or Rod-Segments

Alexandra Zidovska, Kai K. Ewert, Joel Quispe, Bridget Carragher, Clinton S. Potter, Cyrus R. Safinya

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    Abstract

    We describe the preparation and characterization of block liposomes, a new class of liquid (chain-melted) vesicles, from mixtures of the highly charged (+ 16 e) multivalent cationic lipid MVLBG2 and 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphatidylcholine (DOPC). Block liposomes (BLs) consist of distinct spherical, tubular vesicles, and cylindrical micelles that remain connected, forming a single liposome. This is in contrast to typical liposome systems, where distinctly shaped liposomes are macroscopically separated. In a narrow composition range (8-10 mol% MVLBG2), an abundance of micrometer-scale BLs (typically sphere-tube-sphere triblocks) is observed. Cryo-TEM reveals that BLs are also present at the nanometer scale, where the blocks consist of distinctly shaped nanoscale spheres, pears, tubes, or rods. Pear-tube diblock and pear-tube-pear triblock liposomes contain nanotubes with inner lumen diameter 10-50 nm. In addition, sphere-rod diblock liposomes are present, containing rigid micellar nanorods ≈4 nm in diameter and several μm in length. Block liposomes may find a range of applications in chemical and nucleic acid delivery and as building blocks in the design of templates for hierarchical structures.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)111-128
    Number of pages18
    JournalMethods in enzymology
    Volume465
    Issue numberC
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Dec 17 2009

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biochemistry
    • Molecular Biology

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