Addition of block copolymers to liposomes prepared using soybean lecithin. Effects on formation, stability and the specific localization of the incorporated surfactants investigated.

Soybean lecithin disperses into water forming multilamellar liposomes, which on sonication produce vesicles of the order of 40-50nm (diameter), as determined by Photon Correlation Spectroscopy (PCS). The effect of concentration of lecithin and sonication time was systematically investigated. Vesicles were then prepared by incorporation of A – B – A block copolymers of polyethylene oxide (PEO) and polypropylene oxide(PPO), i.e.(PEO-PPO-PEO), in order to construct systems of increased steric stability. The effect of the molecular weight of the PEO and PPO chains on the vesicle size was systematically studied by using various molecules to prepare the vesicles. Initial addition of these (tri-)block copolymers causes an increase in the size of the vesicles. This increase continues until a certain concentration of block copolymer is reached, after which a decrease in size is observed.