Niosome: The Magic Bullet

Mujoriya Rajesh, Bodla Ramesh Babu, Jaiswal Swati, Dhamande Kishor


Target oriented drug delivery systems are the areas of the major interest in the modern pharmaceutical research. The selective drug delivery to the target tissues increases the therapeutic efficacy of the drug and reduces its undesirable effect to non target tissues.The concept of drug targeting or site specific drug delivery was introduced first time by Paul Elrich in 1909, when he reported magic bullet to deliver a drug to the desired site of action without affecting the non target organs or tissues (Juliano, 1980) by associating the drug with a pharmacologically “inactive carrier capable of conveying the drug selectively towards its target cells. Niosomes or nonionic surfactant vesicles are microscopic lamellar structures formed on admixture of nonionic surfactant of the alkyl or dialkyl polyglycerol ether class and cholesterol with subsequent hydration in aqueous media. In niosomes, the vesicles forming amphiphile is a nonionic surfactant such as span 60 which is usually stabilized by addition of cholesterol and small amount of anionic surfactant such as dicetyl phosphate. Niosomes can entrap both hydrophilic and lipophilic drugs, either in aqueous layer or in vesicular membrane made of lipid materials. It is reported to attain better stability than liposomes. It can prolong the circulation of the entrapped drugs. Because of the presence of nonionic surfactant with the lipid, there is better targeting of drugs to tumour, liver and brain. It may prove very useful for targeting the drug for treating cancers, parasitic, viral and other microbial disease more effectively.

Key-Words: magic bullet, Target oriented drug delivery systems, inactive carrier, Niosome, site specific drug delivery, liposomes, cancers.

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