Preparation of liposomes containing small gold nanoparticles using electrostatic interactions

Gennaro A. Dichello, Takahiro Fukuda, Toru Maekawa, Raymond L.D. Whitby, Sergey V. Mikhalovsky, Mohammed Alavijeh, Ananth S. Pannala, Dipak K. Sarker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The development of liposome-nanoparticle colloid systems offers a versatile approach towards the manufacture of multifunctional therapeutic platforms. A strategy to encapsulate small metallic nanoparticles (< 4 nm) within multilamellar vesicles, effected by exploiting electrostatic interactions was investigated. Two liposome-gold nanoparticle (lipo-GNP) systems were prepared by the reverse-phase evaporation method employing cationic or anionic surface functionalised particles in combination with oppositely charged lipid compositions with subsequent post-formulation PEGylation. Structural characterisation using electron microscopy and elemental analysis revealed a regular distribution of GNPs between adjacent lipid bilayers of intact liposomes. Nanoparticle encapsulation efficacy of the two lipo-GNP systems was revealed to be significantly different (p = 0.03), evaluated by comparing the ratio of measured lipid to gold concentration (loading content) determined by a colorimetric assay and atomic emission spectroscopy, respectively. It was concluded that the developed synthetic strategy is an effective approach for the preparation of liposome-nanoparticle colloids with potential to control the relative concentration of encapsulated particles to lipids by providing favourable electrostatic interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-63
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Publication statusPublished - Jul 15 2017


  • Electrostatic interaction
  • Encapsulation
  • Liposome
  • Loading content
  • Nanoparticle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science

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