Niosomes are a novel drug delivery system, in which the medication is encapsulated in a vesicle. The vesicle is composed of a bilayer of non-ionic surface active agents and hence the name niosomes. Structurally, niosomes are similar to liposomes, in that they are also made up of a bilayer. However, the bilayer in the case of niosomes is made up of non-ionic surface active agents rather than phospholipids as seen in the case of liposomes. Most surface active agents when immersed in water yield micellar structures however some surfactants can yield bilayer vesicles which are niosomes. Niosomes may be unilamellaror multilamellar depending on the method used to prepare them. The niosomes are classified as a function of the number of bilayer (e.g. MLV, SUV) or as a function of size. (e.g. LUV, SUV) or as a function of the method of preparation (e.g.REV, DRV). Niosomes present a structure similar to liposome and hence they can represent alternative vesicular systems with respect to liposomes, due to the niosome ability to encapsulate different type of drugs within their multienvironmental structure. The technology utilized in niosomes is still greatly in its infancy, and already it is showing promise in the fields of cancer and infectious disease treatments.
Cite this article:
Kshitij B. Makeshwar, Suraj R. Wasankar. Niosome: a Novel Drug Delivery System. Asian J. Pharm. Res. 3(1): Jan.-Mar. 2013; Page 15-19.