RGD-modified liposomes targeted to activated platelets as a potential vascular drug delivery system

Thromb Haemost. 2005 Jan;93(1):106-14. doi: 10.1160/TH04-06-0340.


Local drug delivery has become an important treatment modality for the prevention of thrombotic events following coronary angioplasty. In this study, we investigate the ability of liposomes bearing surface conjugated linear Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) peptide (GSSSGRGDSPA) moieties to target and bind activated platelets, and the effect of such RGD-modified liposomes on platelet activation and aggregation. The binding of RGD-liposomes to human platelets was assessed by fluorescence microscopy, phase contrast microscopy and flow cytometry. The effect of RGD-modified liposomes on platelet activation and aggregation was investigated in vitro, with and without platelet agonists. RGD-liposomes were found to bind activated platelets at levels significantly greater than the control RGE-liposomes. The RGD-liposomes did not exhibit any statistically significant effect on platelet activation or aggregation. The results demonstrate the ability of the RGD-modified liposomes to target and bind activated platelets without causing significant platelet aggregation and suggests a feasible way for the development of a platelet-targeted anti-thrombogenic drug delivery system. Furthermore, the approach can be extended to the development of liposomes for other vascular targets, for application in drug delivery or gene therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Platelets / metabolism*
  • Drug Delivery Systems*
  • Humans
  • Liposomes
  • Oligopeptides / pharmacokinetics*
  • Oligopeptides / therapeutic use
  • Platelet Activation*
  • Platelet Aggregation
  • Platelet Glycoprotein GPIIb-IIIa Complex / metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • Vascular Diseases / blood
  • Vascular Diseases / drug therapy


  • Liposomes
  • Oligopeptides
  • Platelet Glycoprotein GPIIb-IIIa Complex
  • arginyl-glycyl-aspartic acid