The effect of entrapped β-cyclodextrin (β-CD) on the stability of multilamellar vesicles (MLVs) of 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC), prepared by the dehydration-rehydration method, was studied by monitoring the release of 5(6)-carboxyfluorescein encapsulated into the liposomes. Different hydrophobic guests, such as Fullerene C60, have been incorporated into the POPC bilayer in order to modify the membrane composition. The kinetic results as well as ESI-MS measurements evidenced that the destabilizing activity of β-CD is due to the formation of β-CD inclusion complexes and the consequent removal of selected bilayer constituents from the liposomal membrane. Hence, when β-CD was added to the liposomes in the form of a strong, water-soluble 2:1 β-CD/C60 inclusion complex, such a destabilizing effect was not observed. However, the same β-CD/C60 inclusion complex does not form as a result of C60 extraction from the bilayer. This may be attributed either to the overwhelming concentration of POPC with respect to C60 and/or to the fact that C60 is largely aggregated in the bilayer. Turbidimetric and fluorimetric determinations of lamellarity and entrapped volume of the studied MLVs provided further evidence of the alteration of the liposomal bilayer as a consequence of the addition of β-CD and/or the presence of the studied guests.
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