Hydrodynamic cavitation has a significant influence on the stability of the liposomes

date: 20.03.2020

category: Sporočila za javnost


The lipid bilayer is a basic structure in biological cells that consists of two layers of phospholipid molecules. The basic function of the bilayer in cells is to separate the inner space from the outer environment. The structure of the bilayer itself allows water to pass freely through the membrane, while the other charged and larger molecules do not pass freely through this structure - the possibility of substance selectivity within the bilayer. Liposomes are spherical structures consisting of a lipid bilayer. The basic composition of liposomes is comparable to biological membranes, as they are also based on the phospholipid bilayer.

The phenomenon of hydrodynamic cavitation, which occurs when there is a sudden drop in fluid pressure, is increasingly used in applications such as surface cleaning, acceleration of chemical reactions and wastewater treatment (destruction of bacteria, viruses and other contaminants). The study compared the effect of hydrodynamic cavitation with other chemical, physical and mechanical stress factors. Yellow fluorescent dye was packed into the liposomes, which could be monitored with a confocal laser scanning microscope (CLSM). Different environmental stressors can cause different damage to the bilayer. Damage to the bilayer can lead to a temporary release of fluorescent dye from the liposome into the environment. If the damage is sufficiently extensive, fragmentation into smaller liposomes or complete degradation of the liposomes may occur. Using microscopic images we were able to analyse the stability of liposomes on different stressors by different parameters such as fluorescence intensity, number of fluorescent liposomes and liposome size distribution.

The results published in the renowned scientific journal Ultrasonics Sonochemistry (IF: 7.279) show that hydrodynamic cavitation has a significant influence on liposome stability and is comparable with other mechanical stress factors such as vortex mixing with beads and ultrasound.


PANDUR, Žiga, DOGŠA, Iztok, DULAR, Matevž, STOPAR, David. Liposome destruction by hydrodynamic cavitation in comparison to chemical, physical and mechanical treatments. Ultrasonics Sonochemistry, ISSN 1350-4177, Mar. 2020, vol. 61, p. 1-11, ilustr. doi: 10.1016/j.ultsonch.2019.104826

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