Lipids and Biomembranes

ID #1633

Does the term “liposome” refer only to purified phospholipids (do the lipids have to be phospholipids, and do they have to be purified)?


Actually, any spherical compartment separated from its surroundings by a lipid bilayer would be a liposome, but it would be highly unlikely to find a true liposome in a biological system. In an experiment, yes, but in a cell, probably not. Real biological membranes also have proteins and possibly carbohydrates, so we'd call them vesicles (or organelles) instead of liposomes.

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