Liposomes are clinically used in drug delivery, but loading hydrophobic substances is limited to the hydrophobic space of a lipid membrane, despite the fact that it is favorable to encapsulate substances into the inner aqueous core of liposome, from a drug stability of view. We report herein on the preparation of a liposome with bovine serum albumin encapsulated (BSA-liposome). Using this system, it is possible to encapsulate hydrophobic drugs in the inner aqueous core of the liposome based on the hypothesis that the water solubility of hydrophobic drugs is increased when bound to albumin. The physicochemical properties of the prepared BSA-liposomes could be easily regulated and the loading of hydrophobic drugs in the inner aqueous core of the liposome was dramatically improved by virtue of the drug-binding properties of albumin. An in vivo safety and pharmacokinetic study showed that BSA-liposomes possess favorable properties as a drug carrier, including biocompatibility and a stealth effect. This new type of hydrophobic drug carrier, an albumin-liposome, has the potential for use in delivering numerous hydrophobic drugs that typically bind to albumin.
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