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FEBS Lett. 1987 Oct 19;223(1):42-6.

Large unilamellar liposomes with low uptake into the reticuloendothelial system.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.


Particulate drug carriers, including liposomes, are rapidly removed from blood by cells of the reticuloendothelial system (RES) with resulting adverse effects on this important host defense system. In order to overcome this and other major disadvantages of liposomes, we have altered liposome composition in an effort to achieve prolonged circulation half-lives. Gangliosides and sphingomyelin act synergistically to dramatically diminish the rate and extent of uptake of liposomes by macrophages in vivo. The significantly extended circulation times achieved by these modified large unilamellar liposomes overcome an important barrier to the targeting of particulate drug carriers to specific tissues in vivo.

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