The impetuous development of nanotechnology over the past two decades has enabled the production of a plethora of nanomaterials with outstanding optical, magnetic, electrical, catalytic and mechanical properties. The versatility of these materials attracted attention from the very beginning in the most disparate sectors of science and technology. The application of nanomaterials in the biological and biomedical fields soon benefited from the interaction with liposomes, which increased their biocompatibility and biostability. Liposomes indeed are versatile self-assembling supramolecular (nano)structures constituted of an aqueous core enclosed by a lipid bilayer, able to host hydrophobic and hydrophilic cargo, and with superior biocompatibility and great similarity with the biological membranes. The result is the construction of hybrid nanoscale architectures, in which nanoparticles (NPs) are allocated either in the aqueous core, in the palisade of the lipid bilayer or on the outer surface of the vesicles. In the first part of this review, the principal methods for the preparation of NP-loaded liposomes are carefully illustrated in a tutorial manner. In the second part, an overview of the great potentialities deriving from the conjugation of liposomes with NPs is presented. In each paragraph, the main characteristics of the most notable classes of NPs, the related issues, and the advantages arising from their association with liposomes are shown. Here, the most significant research works in literature for each kind of system are presented.
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