An improved methodology for providing a more stable and targetable drug carrier has been developed. This method involves the synthesis of a newly designed immunoliposome by coating the outermost surface of large oligolamellar vesicles of egg phosphatidylcholine with the polysaccharide pullulan, modified to carry both cholesterol, as the hydrophobic anchor, and the monoclonal antibody fragment (anti-sialosyl LewisX, IgMs) as the sensory device. Compared with the binding of pullulan-coated liposomes, that of this immunoliposome to specific cells in vitro was significantly increased by factors of 447 to PC-9 and 295 to KATO-III, but only by a factor of 148 to the less specific cell, 3LL. This strong and specific binding of the immunoliposome to the cell surface of PC-9 was also confirmed by a fluorescence-microscopic investigation using the immunoliposome, which bore the hydrophobic fluorescent probe, terbium trisacetylacetonate, in the liposomal membrane.
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