Curcumin shows huge potential as an anticancer and anti-inflammatory agent. However, to achieve a satisfactory bioavailability and stability of this compound, its liposomal form is preferable. Our detailed studies on the curcumin interaction with lipid membranes are aimed to obtain better understanding of the mechanism and eventually to improve the efficiency of curcumin delivery to cells. Egg yolk phosphatidylcholine (EYPC) one-component monolayers and bilayers, as well as mixed systems containing additionally dihexadecyl phosphate (DHP) and cholesterol, were studied. Curcumin binding constant to EYPC liposomes was determined based on two different methods: UV/Vis absorption and fluorescence measurements to be 4.26×104M-1and 3.79×104M-1, respectively. The fluorescence quenching experiment revealed that curcumin locates in the hydrophobic region of EYPC liposomal bilayer. It was shown that curcumin impacts the size and stability of the liposomal carriers significantly. Loaded into the EYPC/DPH/cholesterol liposomal bilayer curcumin stabilizes the system proportionally to its content, while the EYPC/DPH system is destabilized upon drug loading. The three-component lipid composition of the liposome seems to be the most promising system for curcumin delivery. An interaction of free and liposomal curcumin with EYPC and mixed monolayers was also studied using Langmuir balance measurements. Monolayer systems were treated as a simple model of cell membrane. Condensing effect of curcumin on EYPC and EYPC/DHP monolayers and loosening influence on EYPC/DHP/chol ones were observed. It was also demonstrated that curcumin-loaded EYPC liposomes are more stable upon interaction with the model lipid membrane than the unloaded ones. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.
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