Material of the Month
July 2022
Tuning Channels: Swollen Lipidic Cubic Phase Gels to Deliver Biotherapeutics

Typical lipid mesophases (LMPs) have water channels with a diameter of 3-5 nm and this geometric constraint does not allow the release of large hydrophilic biotherapeutics. Using charged phospholipids to enlarge the water channels of bicontinuous cubic phases, we designed a highly swollen biocompatible gel.
Hydrophilic biomacromolecules can be efficiently encapsulated in this easy-to-manufacture drug delivery platform and their release rate tuned. Thanks to its semisolid texture and its release properties, our gel is particularly suited for direct administration to the mucosal lining of diseased organs, as the rectum or the cervix, minimising the adverse reactions associated with parenteral administration of biotherapeutics.

This work was carried out in the group of Prof. Paola Luciani.


  • O. Elzenaty, P. Luciani, S. Aleandri;
    "A lipidic mesophase with tunable release properties for the local delivery of macromolecules: the apoferritin nanocage, a case study"
    Journal of Materials Chemistry B, 2022, 10(20), 3876-3885; doi:10.1039/D2TB00403H.
  • S. Aleandri, R. Mezzenga;
    "The physics of lipidic mesophase delivery systems"
    Physics Today, 2020, 73(7), 38-44; doi:10.1063/PT.3.4522.