Drug interactions with lipid membranes

Annela M. Seddon, Duncan Casey, Robert V. Law, Tony Gee, Richard H. Templer, Oscar Ces

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

195 Citations (Scopus)


The field of drug-membrane interactions is one that spans a wide range of scientific disciplines, from synthetic chemistry, through biophysics to pharmacology. Cell membranes are complex dynamic systems whose structures can be affected by drug molecules and in turn can affect the pharmacological properties of the drugs being administered. In this tutorial review we aim to provide a guide for those new to the area of drug-membrane interactions and present an introduction to areas of this topic which need to be considered. We address the lipid composition and structure of the cell membrane and comment on the physical forces present in the membrane which may impact on drug interactions. We outline methods by which drugs may cross or bind to this membrane, including the well understood passive and active transport pathways. We present a range of techniques which may be used to study the interactions of drugs with membranes both in vitro and in vivo and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of these techniques and highlight new methods being developed to further this field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2509-2519
Number of pages11
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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