DOPE: Dioleoyl phosphatidylethanolamine, 1,2-dideoyl, L-β,γ-Dioleoyl-α-cephalin, 1,2-Di(9Z-octadecenoyl)-sn–
Phospholipids belong to the lipid family of biological polymers. A phospholipid is composed of two fatty acids, a glycerol unit, a phosphate group and a polar molecule. The phosphate group and polar head region of the molecule is hydrophillic (attracted to water), while the fatty acid tail is hydrophobic (repelled by water). When placed in water, phospholipids will orient themselves into a bilayer in which the non-polar tail region faces the inner area of the bilayer. The polar head region faces outward and interacts with the water.
Phosphalipids are excellent natural biomaterials for drug delivery.