DBCO Reactive Liposomes

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DBCO-responsive liposomes are liposomes capable of click reactions with dibenzocyclooctynyl groups (DBCO), typically with an azide moiety. The reaction is highly specific and bioorthogonal and is well suited for conjugating antibodies for use in the preparation of immunoliposomes. BOC Sciences has the capability to manufacture GMP-grade DBCO-reactive liposomes with the goal of providing new ideas to customers who are developing immunotherapies as well as therapies for other diseases.

What are DBCO Reactive Liposomes?

What is DBCO?

DBCO reagent, also known as ADIBO or DIBAC, is a cycloalkyne that can undergo a copper click reaction with azides via strain-promoted 1,3-dipole cycloaddition in aqueous solution. This is a bioorthogonal reaction that is highly selective and specific, making it a powerful tool for catalyst-free bioconjugation. This reaction allows selective and efficient concatenation of DBCO-modified compounds with azide-containing molecules (e.g., proteins, nucleic acids, and other biomolecules) with excellent biocompatibility without the need for a copper catalyst. Copper-free click chemistry involving DBCO and azides has been widely used in bioconjugation, drug delivery and biochemistry.

The chemical formula of DBCO-PEG-NHS.Figure 1. The chemical formula of DBCO-PEG-NHS.

The Overview of DBCO Reactive Liposomes

BOC Sciences has GMP-grade liposome synthesis capabilities to assist customers in exploiting bioorthogonal click chemistry between DBCO and azide-containing molecules such as azide-modified drugs, biomolecules, or imaging agents by functionalizing liposomes with DBCO moieties. This reaction enables the specific and efficient conjugation of DBCO-containing liposomes with azide-containing molecules for applications such as precise and controlled drug loading, biomolecule delivery, or attachment of imaging probes.

L-PEG2000-DBCO assembly with desirable DBCO density.Figure 2. L-PEG2000-DBCO assembly with desirable DBCO density. (D, X, Liu.; et al, 2022)

Advantages of DBCO Reactive Liposomes

  • Bioorthogonality: The reaction can be carried out in a biological environment without the need for a catalyst, without interfering at all with natural biological processes.
  • High Specificity: DBCO-azide click chemistry is highly specific and reactive, greatly minimizing non-specific binding or potential side effects.
  • Versatility: DBCO-responsive liposomes can be used to deliver a wide range of payloads, including chemotherapeutic drugs, probes, siRNAs, aptamers, antibodies, and more.
  • Controlled Release: DBCO-responsive liposomes can be designed for a variety of applications such as controlled release in drug delivery, enabling the release of the cargo at a specific location or in response to certain triggers (e.g. pH or temperature).

Applications of DBCO Reactive Liposomes

Creation of Affixed Molecules: DBCO-responsive liposomes can be affixed with azide-modified biomolecules (including proteins, antibodies, and nucleic acids) for the development of multifunctional lipid nanoparticles.

Development of Targeted Drug Delivery Systems: DBCO-responsive liposomes can be loaded with therapeutic drugs and functionalized with targeted ligands or antibodies. This increases drug-specific delivery and minimizes off-target effects.

Vaccine Development: DBCO-reactive liposomes can be used as carriers of antigens, helping to enhance delivery of antigens to immune cells and improving vaccine efficacy. They can be functionalized with adjuvants and other immunostimulatory molecules to enhance the immune response.

Molecular Imaging: DBCO-responsive liposomes can be loaded with contrast agents or probes that bind specifically to target molecules, enabling the tracing of specific cells or receptors and advancing disease diagnostic research.

Benefits of BOC Sciences' DBCO Reactive Liposomes

BOC Sciences maintains strict quality control in the manufacture of DBCO Reactive Liposomes and has an efficient and purified synthesis strategy to ensure that you receive high purity DBCO Reactive Liposomes.

BOC Sciences also offers more customized services more customized services, including group-specific modifications, preparative formulations, or carrier ratios.

The experts at BOC Sciences are a group of creative PhDs who ensure that you are provided with technical advice and after-sales service.

BOC Sciences' manufacturing technology allows for customers' expedited needs because of our perpetually short lead times and large-scale production capabilities.

For more custom services about our DBCO reactive liposomes, please feel free to contact us.


  1. D, X, Liu.; et al. PEG2000-DBCO Surface Coating Increases Intracellular Uptake of Liposomes by Breast Cancer Xenografts. Scientific Reports. 2022, 12: 10564.

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