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J Pharm Pharmacol. 2006 Jun;58(6):775-85.

The preparation of liposomes using compressed carbon dioxide: strategies, important considerations and comparison with conventional techniques.

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Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK.


Numerous strategies are currently available for preparing liposomes, although no single method is ideal in every respect. Two methods for producing liposomes using compressed carbon dioxide in either its liquid or supercritical state were therefore investigated as possible alternatives to the conventional techniques currently used. The first technique used modified compressed carbon dioxide as a solvent system. The way in which changes in pressure, temperature, apparatus geometry and solvent flow rate affected the size distributions of the formulations was examined. In general, liposomes in the nano-size range with an average diameter of 200 nm could be produced, although some micron-sized vesicles were also present. Liposomes were characterized according to their hydrophobic drug-loading capacity and encapsulated aqueous volumes. The latter were found to be higher than in conventional techniques such as high-pressure homogenization. The second method used compressed carbon dioxide as an anti-solvent to promote uniform precipitation of phospholipids from concentrated ethanolic solutions. Finely divided solvent-free phospholipid powders of saturated lipids could be prepared that were subsequently hydrated to produce liposomes with mean volume diameters of around 5 microm.

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