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n. (context biochemistry English) an aqueous compartment enclosed by a bimolecular phospholipid membrane; a lipid vesicle


n. an artificially made microscopic vesicle into which nucleic acids can be packaged; used in molecular biology as a transducing vector


A liposome is a spherical vesicle having at least one lipid bilayer. The liposome can be used as a vehicle for administration of nutrients and pharmaceutical drugs. Liposomes can be prepared by disrupting biological membranes (such as by sonication).

Liposomes are most often composed of phospholipids, especially phosphatidylcholine, but may also include other lipids, such as egg phosphatidylethanolamine, so long as they are compatible with lipid bilayer structure. A liposome design may employ surface ligands for attaching to unhealthy tissue.

The major types of liposomes are the multilamellar vesicle (MLV, with several lamellar phase lipid bilayers), the small unilamellar liposome vesicle (SUV, with one lipid bilayer), the large unilamellar vesicle (LUV), and the cochleate vesicle. A less desirable form are multivesicular liposomes in which one vesicle contains one or more smaller vesicles.

Liposomes should not be confused with micelles and reverse micelles composed of monolayers.

Usage examples of "liposome".

He kept trying to breed a better liposome for his gunge-phase experiments.

When the two systems combine, two kinds of RNA molecule quickly evolve, one a template encoding the amino acid sequences of the simple proteins that stabilize the liposome membranes, the other able to read that sequence and bond appropriate amino acids together.

Mariella asks her audience to imagine metabolically active liposomes electrostatically adhering to clay templates rich in RNA chains.

One key protein embedded in the membrane unlocked the blood-brain barrier, enabling the liposomes to burrow out of the cerebral capillaries into the interneural space.

Other liposomes were tailored for other cell types: muscle fibers in the vocal fold, the jaw, the lips, the tongue.