Recent advances in liposome surface modification for oral drug delivery

Nanomedicine (Lond). 2016 May;11(9):1169-85. doi: 10.2217/nnm.16.9. Epub 2016 Apr 13.


Oral delivery via the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is the dominant route for drug administration. Orally delivered liposomal carriers can enhance drug solubility and protect the encapsulated theraputic agents from the extreme conditions found in the GI tract. Liposomes, with their fluid lipid bilayer membrane and their nanoscale size, can significantly improve oral absorption. Unfortunately, the clinical applications of conventional liposomes have been hindered due to their poor stability and availability under the harsh conditions typically presented in the GI tract. To overcome this problem, the surface modification of liposomes has been investigated. Although liposome surface modification has been extensively studied for oral drug delivery, no review exists so far that adequately covers this topic. The purpose of this paper is to summarize and critically analyze emerging trends in liposome surface modification for oral drug delivery.

Keywords: bioavailability; liposomes; oral delivery; stability; surface modification.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Biological Availability
  • Drug Delivery Systems*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Lipid Bilayers / chemistry
  • Lipid Bilayers / therapeutic use*
  • Liposomes / chemistry
  • Liposomes / therapeutic use*
  • Solubility
  • Surface Properties


  • Lipid Bilayers
  • Liposomes