Formation of a liposome-carbon nanotube complex through the use of bath sonication systems

  • Peter Stone

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Liposomes were selected as a delivery system due to their amphiphilic nature and their use in a wide variety of medications already on the market. Carbon nanotubes were selected as there is still uncertainty as to their influence on biological systems and, due to their increasing prevalence, this needs to be addressed. This includes the uncertainty surrounding their influence on the immune system and whether this is a positive or a negative effect.

Liposomes quite often require size reduction after being formed through lipid film hydration.This size reduction can occur through several different methods including probe sonication, bath sonication and extrusion. The Bioruptor bath sonication systems were used in this study to reduce the size of liposomes from the micron range to below 100 nm. A number of different systems were studied, and all were shown to be effective. A number of different formulations were investigated, and this culminated in a study showing a number of different lipophilic drugs being loaded into the liposomes formed using this bath sonication system.

Carbon nanotubes were successfully dispersed in water using a number of different surfactants including MPC, which is a biologically safe phospholipid. These were all done using the Bioruptor bath sonication systems. Carbon nanotubes were also successfully defected using an acid mixture and it was shown that increasing the temperature too much caused total carbon nanotube destruction. Finally, the carbon nanotubes were added to the liposomal formulations.

It was shown that the bath sonication systems employed could be used to formulate small liposomes that could be used for vaccine and drug delivery. The same systems were used to disperse carbon nanotubes in water, which could then be used for a number of different biological uses.
Date of Award3 Apr 2019
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorCraig Russell (Supervisor), Yvonne Perrie (Supervisor), Alex Rozhin (Supervisor) & Jerome Kroonen (Supervisor)


  • bath sonication
  • drug delivery
  • covalent functionalisation
  • non-covalent functionalisation

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