Liposomes in Drug Targeting

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Transport of drugs to target tissues, cells or subcellular organelles by the use of carrier systems is now a recognized useful method of improving drug selectivity. The types of carrier that have been proposed to date include macromolecules, cells, viruses and synthetic systems (1). However, it is already apparent that most of these are limited in range and quantity of drugs they can accommodate and in their ability to prevent contact of the drug moiety with the normal biological milieu or to promote its access to areas in need of drug action. Further limitations relate to the toxicity of the carrier’s components, their availability and to technical problems such as, for instance, the preparation of the drug-carrier unit. Therefore, extensive efforts have been made towards the development of the ideal drug-carrier (1, 2). As discussed elsewhere (2) such a carrier should be capable of delivering a wide variety of agents into the precise site of action within the biological entity and at the same time provoke no adverse effects. It has become evident during the last decade that liposomes possess many of the qualities expected from a multifunctional carrier and success in applying these to membrane research has now been extended to biology and pharmacology (3, 4).