Introduction: Phosphatidylethanolamine (PE)-conjugated nanoliposomes were developed, characterized, and investigated for their accumulation in liver, kidneys, and lungs in rats.
Methods: Drug-excipient interaction was studied using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), surface morphology by field emission scanning electron microscopy, elemental analysis by energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) analysis, zeta potential and size distribution using a Zetasizer and particle size analyzer, and in vitro drug release by dialysis membrane. In vivo accumulation of liposomes in tissues was also studied.
Results: No chemical reaction was observed between drug and excipients. EDX study confirmed PE-conjugation in liposomes. Doxorubicin-loaded liposomes (DOX-L) and PE-conjugated doxorubicin-loaded liposomes (DOX-PEL) were of smooth surface and homogenously distributed in nanosize range (32-37 nm) with a negative surface charge. Loading efficiencies were 49.25% ± 1.05% and 52.98% ± 3.22% respectively, for DOX-L and DOX-PEL. In vitro drug release study showed 69.91% ± 1.05% and 77.07% ± 1.02% doxorubicin released, from DOX-L and DOX-PEL, respectively, in nine hours. Fluorescence microscopic study showed that liposomes were well distributed in liver, lungs, and kidneys.
Conclusion: Data suggests that PE-conjugated nanoliposomes released the drug in a sustained manner and were capable of distributing them in various organs. This may be used for cell/ tissue targeting, attaching specific antibodies to PE.
Keywords: doxorubicin; phosphatidylethanolamine-conjugated nanoliposomes; tissue accumulation.