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Liposomes have been widely explored in the drug delivery realm over the past decades. Many of the properties that made them well suited for drug delivery applications, such as the internal space to encapsulate a large payload of hydrophilic molecules and the inherent protection from exterior stresses, have also been exploited in unique analytical methodologies. Such liposome-based methods offer advantages over existing technologies and provide approaches not possible with other systems. For example, hydrophobic membrane receptors, which otherwise often lose activity in aqueous systems, can be incorporated into the lipid bilayer to afford novel biorecognition strategies; the internal volume can be used to entrap high concentrations of hydrophilic molecules for signal amplification; and the protected contents can be triggered to release as a function of pH or temperature, affording flexibility in microfluidic designs. These properties lend themselves to versatile assay platforms ranging from high-throughput ELISA formats to point-of-care diagnostics to electrophoretic separations.
Liposomes in Analytical Methodologies provides up-to-date consideration of actively researched techniques, written by expert investigators in their respective fields from a perspective not readily available in the primary literature. The introductory chapter serves as a primer for readers entering the area as well as a refresher for those with existing background to understand the fundamentals and broad application of liposomes for analytical purposes. With topics ranging from liposome arrays that exhibit environment-dependent color changes to exquisite fluorescent imaging, readers will gain an appreciation for the versatile utility that liposomes can add to the analytical toolbox.