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Issue 5, 2019
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Hybrid lipid–nanoparticle complexes for biomedical applications

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Biomolecule–nanoparticle hybrids have proven to be one of most promising frontiers in biomedical research. In recent years, there has been an increased focus on the development of hybrid lipid–nanoparticle complexes (HLNCs) which inherit unique properties of both the inorganic nanoparticles and the lipid assemblies (i.e. liposomes, lipoproteins, solid lipid nanoparticles, and nanoemulsions) that comprise them. In combination of their component parts, HLNCs also gain new functionalities which are utilized for numerous biomedical applications (i.e. stimuli-triggered drug release, photothermal therapy, and bioimaging). The localization of nanoparticles within the lipid assemblies largely dictates the attributes and functionalities of the hybrid complexes and are classified as such: (i) liposomes with surface-bound nanoparticles, (ii) liposomes with bilayer-embedded nanoparticles, (iii) liposomes with core-encapsulated nanoparticles, (iv) lipid assemblies with hydrophobic core-encapsulated nanoparticles, and (v) lipid bilayer-coated nanoparticles. Herein, we review the properties of each hybrid and the rational design of HLNCs for biomedical applications as reported by recent investigations. Future directions in advancing and expanding the scope of HLNCs are also proposed.

Graphical abstract: Hybrid lipid–nanoparticle complexes for biomedical applications

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Article information

22 Nov 2018
03 Jan 2019
First published
03 Jan 2019

J. Mater. Chem. B, 2019,7, 695-708
Article type
Review Article

Hybrid lipid–nanoparticle complexes for biomedical applications

K. M. Vargas and Y. Shon, J. Mater. Chem. B, 2019, 7, 695
DOI: 10.1039/C8TB03084G

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