Liposomes composed of egg phosphatidylcholine and cholesterol were modified with the temperature-responsive polymer poly(N-isopropylacrylamide-co-N, N-dimethylacrylamide) (P(NIPAAm-co-DMAAm)), and exhibited reversible surface properties with temperature. Completely reversible liposome aggregation due to P(NIPAAm-co-DMAAm) hydration/dehydration was demonstrated over four successive cycles of heating and cooling. The P(NIPAAm-co-DMAAm) polymer was hydrated during cooling, which dispersed the liposomes. The rigidity of the liposomal membrane was one of the factors in the reversible aggregation, as was the modification density of the polymer on the liposomes. A low density on relatively rigid liposomes could maintain the polymer property of reversible hydrated layers below critical solution temperature (LCST) boundary. Above the LCST, temperature-responsive polymers could also transport negatively charged liposomes into cells. The reversible behavior of the temperature-responsive polymer-modified liposomes has not been reported previously and could enable new applications for switching deposit forms as alternative drug carriers.
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