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Interplay of protein corona and immune cells controls blood residency of liposomes

In vivo liposomes, like other types of nanoparticles, acquire a totally new ‘biological identity’ due to the formation of a biomolecular coating known as the protein corona that depends on and modifies the liposomes’ synthetic identity. The liposome–protein corona is a dynamic interface that regulates the interaction of liposomes with the physiological environment. Here we show that the biological identity of liposomes is clearly linked to their sequestration from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of healthy donors that ultimately leads to removal from the bloodstream. Pre-coating liposomes with an artificial corona made of human plasma proteins drastically reduces capture by circulating leukocytes in whole blood and may be an effective strategy to enable prolonged circulation in vivo. We conclude with a critical assessment of the key concepts of liposome technology that need to be reviewed for its definitive clinical translation.

Nature Communications volume 10, Article number: 3686 (2019)

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