Steric stabilization of liposomes – a review

  • Silvander M
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The performance of two principally different kinds of intended stabilizers
is reviewed. Especially any influence of the stabilizers on the
liposome properties, such as structure, permeability and surface
potential, is discussed. Poly(ethylene oxide)-poly(propylene oxide)-poly(ethylene
oxide) triblock copolymers have not been shown to function satisfactorily
as stabilizers in combination with phospholipids. The incorporation
of triblock copolymers of different segment length leads to structural
breakdown of the liposome structure even at low concentrations.
In addition, incorporation of the copolymers results in extensive
leakage of encapsulated material. Neither have there been any reports
of unambiguous proof of efficient steric repulsion due to the coating
by copolymers. In contrast poly(ethylene glycol) lipids [PEG(2000)-
phosphatidyl ethanolamine] efficiently provide a steric barrier
to the liposomes. This is, however, only true if the surface concentration
is kept below a rupture limit. An important additional effect is
that the permeability of encapsulated hydrophilic cargo is reduced
in the presence of PEG lipids. The most common PEG lipids contain
a carbamate linkage that introduces a negative surface potential
at the liposome surface. However, at medium ionic strength similar
to physiological conditions the surface potential is small and does
not contribute to any important extent to colloidal stabilization.

Author-supplied keywords

  • ethylene glycol
  • lipid æ pluronic æ
  • stability æ poly
  • stealth æ colloidal
  • vesicle

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  • ISSN: 0340255X
  • PUI: 36109647
  • SGR: 0036949672
  • SCOPUS: 2-s2.0-0036949672


  • Mats Silvander

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