Erythrocyte membranes from slaughterhouse blood as potential drug vehicles: Isolation by gradual hypotonic hemolysis and biochemical and morphological characterization.

Research paper by Ivana T IT Kostić, Vesna Lj VLj Ilić, Verica B VB Đorđević, Katarina M KM Bukara, Slavko B SB Mojsilović, Viktor A VA Nedović, Diana S DS Bugarski, Đorđe N ĐN Veljović, Danijela M DM Mišić, Branko M BM Bugarski

Indexed on: 23 Jul '14Published on: 23 Jul '14Published in: Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces


The present study was aimed at investigating the effect of isolation process-gradual hypotonic hemolysis on chosen parameters of the erythrocyte membranes (ghosts) originating from bovine and porcine slaughterhouse blood. The estimation of the gradual hypotonic hemolysis as a drug loading procedure for the erythrocyte ghosts was performed as well. Based on the results derived from analysis of the osmotic properties of the erythrocytes, the gradual hemolysis was performed with high volume of erythrocytes and 35mM hypotonic sodium-phosphate/NaCl, enabling >90% of hemolysis for both types of erythrocytes. Detailed insight into ghosts' morphology by field emission-scanning electron microscopy revealed a distortion from erythrocyte shape and an altered surface texture with increased bilayer curvature for both samples. Compared to erythrocytes, an average diameter of ghosts from both type of erythrocytes decreased for only about 10%. The reported unidispersity of the isolated ghosts is of great importance for their potential application as vehicles of active compounds. Gradual hemolysis did not lead to substantial loss of cholesterol and membrane/cytoskeleton proteins. This result indicated the ghosts' possibility to mimic the chemical and structural anisotropic environment of in vivo cell membranes, which is of significance for drug diffusion and partition coefficients. Induced shift of phosphatidylserine to external surface of the ghosts demonstrated their potential application as vehicles for targeted drug delivery to cells of reticuloendothelial system. Ultra high-performance liquid chromatography and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy revealed the presence of a drug model - dexamethasone-sodium phosphate, and its interaction with structural components in both types of erythrocyte ghosts.