This model illustrates the structure of a liposome at the molecular level. First, study the process of micelles' formation in the solution with high detergent levels (in our model, phospholipids that form the liposomes' double layer serve as such detergent). |
Switch the micelles' ratio and press "Start". Observe how the phospholipid molecules attach by their hydrophobic "tails", while their hydrophilic "heads" are sticking out. Such formations are called micelles. Molecules of any other detergent would follow the same pattern.
Now, switch to monolayer demonstration mode and press "Start". Observe how some of the phospholipid molecules (as would be the case with any other detergent) that approach the surface have their hydrophobic "tails" directed outwards, while their hydrophilic "heads" are oriented inwards.
Switch to liposome demonstration mode and press "Start". Observe how a phospholipid monolayer surrounds a drop of special emulsion that falls into the solution. As a result, one monolayer wraps around the other, forming a phospholipid double layer that is similar to the membrane of a biological cell (the latter has a somewhat more complex structure). A drop of liquid (or special emulsion) that is surrounded by a phospholipid double layer is referred to as the liposome.
The fourth mode that this model has to offer is called "liposomes in solution". This mode demonstrates the stability of liposomes that exists in spite of the thermal motion of water molecules. This property of liposomes has tremendous importance for medicine, since the pharmaceutical solutions are frequently "packaged" inside the liposomes. The liposome-made shell remains intact until the medicine reaches its destination within the human body.