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mPEG Ceramides
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mPEG Ceramides

Catalog Name Inquiry
ACM212116762-2 C8 PEG2000 Ceramide Inquiry
ACM212116762-3 C8 PEG5000 Ceramide Inquiry
ACM212116762-4 C8 PEG750 Ceramide Inquiry
ACM212116784-2 C16 PEG2000 Ceramide Inquiry
ACM212116784-3 C16 PEG5000 Ceramide Inquiry
ACM212116784-4 C16 PEG750 Ceramide Inquiry

What Are mPEG Ceramides?

mPEG ceramides, also known as methoxy polyethylene glycol ceramides, are a class of amphiphilic lipids that have garnered significant attention in the field of biomedical research due to their unique properties and promising applications. These compounds consist of a ceramide backbone, which is a key structural component of the lipid bilayer in cell membranes, and a polyethylene glycol (PEG) chain, which imparts water solubility to the molecule. This combination of hydrophobic and hydrophilic components makes mPEG ceramides particularly versatile for various biomedical applications.

Synthesis and Structure of mPEG Ceramides

The synthesis of mPEG ceramides involves the conjugation of a PEG chain to the hydroxyl group of the ceramide molecule. This process can be achieved through various chemical reactions, such as esterification or amidation, resulting in the formation of a covalent linkage between the PEG and ceramide moieties. The length of the PEG chain can be tailored to modulate the physicochemical properties of the mPEG ceramide, allowing for customization based on specific application requirements.

Schematic representation of the preparation of pre-pegylated lipoplexes and post-pegylated lipoplexes.Schematic representation of the preparation of pre-pegylated lipoplexes and post-pegylated lipoplexes. [1]

Structurally, mPEG ceramides exhibit a distinctive composition wherein the ceramide segment provides the amphiphilic character essential for membrane interactions, while the PEG chain extends into the aqueous environment, conferring steric stability and water solubility to the overall molecule. This structure facilitates the self-assembly of mPEG ceramides into various nanostructures, such as micelles and liposomes, which are of great interest for drug delivery and therapeutic interventions.

Applications of mPEG Ceramides

The unique properties of mPEG ceramides render them highly advantageous for a wide range of biomedical applications.

  • Drug Delivery

One prominent area of interest is drug delivery, wherein mPEG ceramide-based nanocarriers have shown exceptional promise in enhancing the solubility and bioavailability of hydrophobic drugs. The stealth nature of mPEG-coated nanocarriers allows for prolonged circulation in the bloodstream, leading to enhanced accumulation at target sites and reduced nonspecific uptake by phagocytic cells. Furthermore, the biocompatibility and tunable surface properties of mPEG ceramides make them attractive candidates for formulating stable nanocarriers for gene delivery and vaccine adjuvants.

Ceramide bilayer exchange mechanism.Ceramide bilayer exchange mechanism. [2]

  • Photodynamic Therapy and Imaging

In addition, mPEG ceramides have demonstrated potential for use in photodynamic therapy and imaging applications. By incorporating photosensitizing agents or imaging probes into mPEG ceramide-based nanostructures, targeted and controlled release of therapeutic agents can be achieved, leading to enhanced treatment efficacy and reduced off-target effects. Moreover, the ability of mPEG ceramides to modulate the permeability of biological membranes holds significant implications for cellular uptake mechanisms and intracellular trafficking of payload molecules.

Research Case of mPEG Ceramides

  • Ceramide-PEG for siRNA delivery

Anna Lechanteur et al. developed and characterized pegylated lipoplexes coated with three different densities of PEG: DSPE-PEG2000, DSPE-PEG750, and C8-PEG2000-ceramide (Ceramide-PEG2000). This work used siRNA effective against cancer proteins to conduct in vitro studies on HPV16-positive cells. The results showed that the C8-PEG2000-ceramide lipoplex could effectively release siRNA into the cytoplasm, then reduce cell viability and induce apoptosis without producing cytotoxicity.

PEGylation of lipoplexes.PEGylation of lipoplexes. [3]


  1. L. Peeters, et al. Journal of Controlled Release, 2007, 121(3), 208-217.
  2. Zolnik, Banu S., et al. Drug Metabolism and Disposition, 2008, 36(8), 1709-1715.
  3. Lechanteur, Anna, et al. European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2016, 93, 493-503.

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