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Open Access Cytotoxicity evaluation of anionic nanoliposomes and nanolipoplexes prepared by the heating method without employing volatile solvents and detergents

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Submicron lipid vesicles (nanoliposomes) are being used as carriers of bioactive compounds. In addition, complexes of nanoliposomes and nucleic acids (nanolipoplexes) are promising tools for the treatment of cancer, and viral and genetic disorders. Toxicity of some of these formulations, however, still remains a concern in their clinical utilisation. To address this problem, anionic liposomes were prepared by two different techniques, the conventional thin-film method, and the heating method (HM), in which no volatile organic solvent or detergent is used. An anionic nanolipoplex was constructed by incorporating plasmid DNA (pcDNA3.1/His B/lacZ) into the HM-nanoliposomes by the mediation of calcium. The toxicity of the nanoliposomes, with and without plasmid and Ca2+, was assessed using a human bronchial epithelial cell line (16HBE14o-) in the presence of serum. Cytotoxicity evaluations performed by two different assays (i.e. NRU and MTT) indicated that HM-nanoliposomes were completely non-toxic in the cell-line tested, whereas conventional liposomes revealed significant levels of toxicity. This may be due to the presence of trace amounts of chloroform and/or methanol applied during their preparation. Similar results were obtained for different sizes of lipid vesicles (prepared by 100 nm and 400 nm pore-size filters). In addition, it was observed that incorporation of DNA (15 μg/285 μg lipid) and Ca2+ (50 mM) to the nanoliposomes did not have any effect on their cytotoxicities. These findings indicate that the HM-liposomes have great potential as non-toxic delivery vehicles in human gene therapy and drug delivery applications while liposomes made using organic solvents should be used with caution.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Riddet Centre, Massey University, Private Bag 11 222, Palmerston North, New Zealand, Email: 2: School of Biomolecular Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK 3: School of Pharmacy and Chemistry, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK

Publication date: 2007-03-01

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  • Pharmazie is a leading journal in the field of pharmaceutical sciences. As a peer-reviewed scientific journal, Pharmazie is regularly indexed in the relevant databases like Web of science, Journal Citation Reports and many others. The journal is open for submissions from the whole spectrum of pharnaceutical sciences including Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, Drug Analysis, Pharmaceutics, Pharmaceutical Biology, Clinical Pharmacy etc.
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