A Quantitative Fluorescence Microscopy-based Single Liposome Assay for Detecting the Compositional Inhomogeneity Between Individual Liposomes

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Abstract

Most research employing liposomes as membrane model systems or drug delivery carriers relies on bulk read-out techniques and thus intrinsically assumes all liposomes of the ensemble to be identical. However, new experimental platforms able to observe liposomes at the single-particle level have made it possible to perform highly sophisticated and quantitative studies on protein-membrane interactions or drug carrier properties on individual liposomes, thus avoiding errors from ensemble averaging. Here we present a protocol for preparing, detecting, and analyzing single liposomes using a fluorescence-based microscopy assay, facilitating such single-particle measurements. The setup allows for imaging individual liposomes in a massive parallel manner and is employed to reveal intra-sample size and compositional inhomogeneities. Additionally, the protocol describes the advantages of studying liposomes at the single liposome level, the limitations of the assay, and the important features to be considered when modifying it to study other research questions.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere60538
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Volume2019
Issue number154
Number of pages9
ISSN1940-087X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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