Liposomal Encapsulation of Amoxicillin via Microfluidics with Subsequent Investigation of the Significance of PEGylated Therapeutics

Robyn Macartney, G Burke, Dimitrios A. Lamprou, Edward Weaver, Matthew P. Wylie, Robyn Irwin

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With an increasing concern of global antimicrobial resistance, the efforts to improve the formulation of a narrowing library of therapeutic antibiotics must be confronted. The liposomal encapsulation of antibiotics using a novel and sustainable microfluidic method has been employed in this study to address this pressing issue, via a targeted, lower-dose medical approach. The study focusses upon microfluidic parameter optimisation, formulation stability, cytotoxicity, and future applications. Particle sizes of circa. 130 nm, with viable short-term (28-day) physical stability were obtained, using two different non-cytotoxic liposomal formulations, both of which displayed suitable antibacterial efficacy. The microfluidic method allowed for high encapsulation efficiencies (≈77 %) and the subsequent in vitro release profile suggested high limits of antibiotic dissociation from the nanovessels, achieving 90% release within 72 h. In addition to the experimental data, the growing use of poly(ethylene) glycol (PEG) within lipid-based formulations is discussed in relation to anti-PEG antibodies, highlighting the key pharmacological differences between PEGylated and non-PEGylated formulations and their respective advantages and drawbacks. It's surmised that in the case of the formulations used in this study, the addition of PEG upon the liposomal membrane would still be a beneficial feature to possess owing to beneficial features such as stability, antibiotic efficacy and the capacity to further modify the liposomal membrane.

Original languageEnglish
Article number123710
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Early online date13 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 25 Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by Immunocore.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s)


  • Antibiotic
  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Formulation
  • Liposome
  • Microfluidics
  • Polyethylene glycol


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