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Liposomes are nanotechnological sphere-like vesicles, containg at least one lipid bilayer. The term derives from the words "lipo", meaning fat, and "soma", which means body. They are utilized for various applications, such as drug delivery nanosystems and carriers of diagnostic agents, but also as biological membrane models. The latter is due to their composition, which primarily includes phospholipids, and those are also major components of cell membranes.


They were first discover by Alec D. Bangham in 1961 and published later, in 1964, under the title "Negative Staining of Phospholipids and their Structural Modification by Surface-active Agents as observed in the Electron Microscope". They were discovered when Bangham and R. W. Horne were testing the institute's new electron microscope by adding negative stain to dry phospholipids. Following Bangham, two other renowned scientists were responsible for the establishment of the liposomal technology, Demetrios Papahadjopoulos and Gregory Gregoriadis.



Alec Bangham, Demetrios Papahadjopoulos and Gregory Gregoriadis


The first approved liposomal drug was Doxil® (FDA, 1995) or Caelyx® (EMA, 1996), which is liposomal doxorubicin.