Part of the book: New Polymers for Special Applications
A combination of lipid bilayer and cross-linked polymer network is the logical step in development of polymeric and liposomal nanoscopic systems to provide the natural level of functionality. From liposomal systems, lipobeads borrow the well-developed methods for preparation, diversity of lipids to control the properties of a lipid bilayer, biocompatibility of the lipid bilayer, possibility to vary size and morphology (passive targeting), availability of the external surface for attachment of various ligands (active targeting), encapsulation efficiency of both hydrophilic and hydrophobic molecules. Mechanical stability of the lipid bilayer and environmental responsiveness of the whole structure are the properties that hydrogel core brings to the new construct. The reports reviewed in this chapter demonstrate that lipobeads of nanometer and micrometer sizes can be prepared in different media, retain their stimuli responsiveness under physiological conditions, exhibit both reversible and irreversible aggregation, can be loaded with both small and high molecular weight molecules. As a platform for drug delivery systems, lipobeads have already been loaded with chemotherapeutics, malaria vaccine, and dermatological agent providing different controlled release profiles without leakage. Consecutive multistep triggering, new schemes of drug release, combined drug delivery, vesobeads, proteo-lipobeads, enzyme-containing lipobeads, and hemi-lipobeads are the directions for their future development.
Part of the book: Liposomes