Vaccine Lab / Alfa Chemistry
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In addition to cationic lipids, lipid nanoparticle (LNP) formulations typically contain other lipid components, such as phospholipids. Phospholipids are unique and versatile molecules that are a key component of all cell membranes. A phospholipid consists of two basic parts: the hydrophilic head and the hydrophobic tail. The hydrophilic head consists of a glycerol molecule bound to a phosphate group. These groups are polar and are attracted to water. The second group, the hydrophobic tail, consists of two fatty acid chains. The variation in head groups and aliphatic chains leads to the existence of a wide variety of phospholipids. In addition to their remarkable amphipathic qualities, phospholipids have good biocompatibility. These properties make phospholipid to achieve better applications in nucleic acid delivery system.

Structure, composition and formation of phospholipid moleculesFigure 1. Structure, composition and formation of phospholipid molecules

The role of phospholipids in LNPs

In general, phospholipids play a structural role in LNPs. These structural roles are important for the release of nucleic acids from LNPs and its translocation across the endosomal membrane. The specific roles are shown below.

The role of phospholipids in LNPs

They contribute to the formation and disruption of lipid bilayers to facilitate endosomal escape.

The role of phospholipids in LNPs

Some phospholipids possess polymorphic features and promote a transition from a lamellar to a hexagonal phase in the endosome.

The role of phospholipids in LNPs

Negatively charged phosphate groups appear to be involved in cationic charge neutralization, which similarly promotes phase transition and endosome escape.

In summary, phospholipids are typically included as LNPs components to provide particle stability, blood compatibility, and to enhance the efficiency of nucleic acid delivery. Alfa Chemistry offers the following phospholipid products to customers.

Our products and services are for research use only and cannot be used for any clinical purposes.

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