Incorporation of hydrophobic porphyrins into liposomes: characterization and structural requirements.

Research paper by F F Postigo, M M Mora, M A MA De Madariaga, S S Nonell, M L ML Sagristá

Indexed on: 16 Jun '04Published on: 16 Jun '04Published in: International Journal of Pharmaceutics


The ability of photosensitisers to give reactive oxygenated products is considered decisive for photodynamic applications, but the hydrophobic nature of many porphyrins makes necessary to obtain suitable pharmaceutical formulations. This paper reports the structural photosensitiser features that allow the preparation of stable liposomal formulations. Metallated and non-metallated TPPs and TPyPs and different lipid/porphyrin ratios were considered in order to procure liposomal preparations containing porphyrin concentrations adequate to necessary doses. The results show that the incorporation of porphyrins into liposomes can be related with their ability to form aggregates in a watery media. Thus, ZnTPP, which structural properties avoid the formation of aggregates, was efficiently incorporated into stable liposomes. Moreover, the efficient generation of singlet oxygen by ZnTPP liposomal suspensions has been shown. Because of this, the synthesis of hydrophobic porphyrin derived structures or other sensitisers, which do not aggregate in a watery media and with Q-bands shifted to higher lambda values than ZnTPP, will be efficiently incorporated into liposomes and useful for clinical applications.