Science is always coming up with new and different ways to improve human health and find the cure for certain diseases. Liposomes have become an important contributor to the process. A discovery was made over 40 years ago that these structures could be filled with drugs to be delivered to certain areas within the body.
The phospholipids of these liposomes help to build up cellular membranes. They act as a skin for cells and are responsible for providing protection from pathogens that can destroy life functions that occur in each cell. The human requires a much needed supply of phospholipids in order to repair structural damage caused by toxins and pathogens within the body.
This structure and its importance was first realized at Cambridge by Dr. Alec Bangham. It is a word that is derived from a Greek word called lipos. It means soma, which means body. It also defined as being fat. What makes these structures unique is that they are able to deliver DNA and other materials across cell membranes.
Now the double structure of the liposome is similar to the construction of cell membranes that envelop cells within the human body. The phosphate portion of the phospholipid loves water; thereby making it hydrophilic. The lipids, or fatty acid tails hate water. They are referred to as being hydrophobic.
These two important structures react differently when placed in water-based solutions. The head, seems to run towards watery substances, whereas the tail moves in the opposite direction. Double-layers form where the heads point towards each other in one direction, and the tails point towards each other in facing another direction.
The release of therapeutic agents in liposomes has been a mystery. Various theories have emerged however. One is that phospholipids are processed as fat, and are said to live in the liver. Vitamin C is a bi product. Some also suggest that cells that are in desperate need of phospholipid to make cellular repairs obtain substances from the liposomes. As a result, contents of the liposomes escape.
It is quite possible that both of these theories are true. Scientific proof regarding the increase of the delivery of drugs through liposomes does exist. Many researchers have found that liposomes are instrumental when it comes to delivering nutrients within the body by oral means.
In short, liposomes act as a vehicle that can transport nutrients and drugs through the membrane. Researchers look at the two layer of lipid that are sealed with a variety of substances that need to transported to certain areas of the cell. A certain solution is used with these structures in order to carry them to the membrane. Smaller sizes of the liposome are used to get to the macrophage when they feed through the phagocytes. These two are used digested along with other substances. As a result the drug is discharged. Due to their importance of being able to deliver drugs and DNA to areas that the cell membrane cannot, they have become a very important part of science. Diseases that have been difficult to treat have now become treatable through this process.
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Author: Celia HallThis author has published 202 articles so far.