Author(s): Sipai Altaf Bhai. M, Vandana Yadav, Mamatha. Y, Prasanth V.V
Drug development technologies constituting innovations at the formulation end in the Pharmaceutical industry has received a lot of attention in past two decades. Drug delivery as an opportunity to extend product life cycles has indeed proved its place in the market with significant advantages of therapeutic gains as well as commercial success. Carrier technology offers an intelligent approach for drug delivery by coupling the drug to a carrier particle such as liposomes, microspheres, nanoparticles, etc. which modulates the release and absorption characteristics of the drug. Liposomes are well known to alter the bio distribution of entrapped substances by protecting the enclosed material. They are widely used as vehicles to target the specific molecule to specific organ. During the last few decades liposomes have attracted great interest as ideal models for biological membranes as well as efficient carriers for drugs, diagnostics, vaccines, nutrients and other bioactive agents. Many techniques and methodologies have involved for the manufacture of liposomes, on small and large scales, since their introduction to the scientific community around 40 years ago. This article intends to provide an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of liposome preparation methods,their stability, bio distribution and their uses as drug delivery systems. The conventional method of preparing liposomes is basically for the multilamellar vesicles (MLVs). However, other methods are used to reduce the size of these MLVs to small unilamellar vesicles (SUVs) so as to increase their plasma lifetime and consequently increase the possibility of achieving greater tissue localisation. Some of these methods of size reduction are sonication and high pressure extrusion. Each of these methods has its own advantages and disadvantages. Large unilamellar vesicles (LUVs), on the other hand, are prepared mainly by detergent removal method and reverse phase extrusion technique. There are also improved pharmacokinetic properties with liposomal drugs compared to free drugs, though some formulation factors affect the release kinetics of the liposomal drugs. The review also shows that liposomes have a lot of biomedical applications and uses. They have been used in drug targeting, oral delivery of vaccines, insulin, peptides and some compounds, which are usually degraded in the gastrointestinal tract. It has also found application in topical therapy especially in the eye and lungs. Other areas of application are in cancer chemotherapy and treatment of human immunovirus (HIV) infection.