AFM study of the stability of a dense affinity-bound liposome layer

Anna Tarasova, Hans J. Griesser, Laurence Meagher

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Liposomes that are surface-bound to a biomaterial such as a contact lens are of interest for localized delivery of therapeutic agents, but it is not known whether such liposome layers are sufficiently robust. The stability of a dense, PEG-functionalized layer of liposomes, affinity-bound onto a multilayer coated surface, was tested under various stress conditions using colloid-probe atomic force miscroscopy (AFM). The different stress effects were generated by varying the applied normal load of the probe and the impinging fluid shear through different approach velocities and by varying the applied lateral forces by scanning under increasing force loads. The effect of applied forces (normal and lateral) was further investigated by coating the probe with a layer of albumin. The liposomes remained intact following the ramping of both protein-coated and uncoated probes under the normal and lateral loads. The low-fouling nature of these liposomes, with respect to nonspecific protein adsorption, was also demonstrated from the interaction force measurements which showed only weak adhesion from the protein layer during the contact period of the albumin-coated probe. The observed adhesive interactions were concluded to be a direct result of the applied load from the probe, during the force measurements, rather than from attraction of the protein molecules for the surface-bound liposomes. The low frictional response of the liposome layer indicated the viscoelastic nature of these molecules, which enabled liposome structure retention during the continuous load application. The demonstrated stability of the liposomes presents a system of viable and localized drug delivery in, for example, ophthalmic applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7371-7377
Number of pages7
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes

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