Preparation of liposomes of defined size distribution by extrusion through polycarbonate membranes

Biochim Biophys Acta. 1979 Oct 19;557(1):9-23. doi: 10.1016/0005-2736(79)90085-3.


Liposomes of defined size and homogeneity have been prepared by sequential extrusion of the usual multilamellar vesicles through polycarbonate membranes. The process is easy, reproducible, produces no detectable degradation of the phospholipids, and can double the encapsulation efficiency of the liposome preparation. Multilamellar vesicles extruded by this technique are shown by both negative stain and freeze-fracture electron microscopy to have mean diameters approaching the pore diameter of the polycarbonate membrane through which they were extruded. When sequentially extruded down through a 0.2 micron membrane, the resulting vesicles exhibit a very homogeneous size distribution with a mean diameter of 0.27 micron while maintaining an acceptable level of encapsulation of the aqueous phase.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Carbonates*
  • Freeze Fracturing
  • Liposomes / chemical synthesis*
  • Membranes, Artificial*
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Particle Size
  • Staining and Labeling


  • Carbonates
  • Liposomes
  • Membranes, Artificial