The lamellar body secretory system: a new frontier for drug discovery.

Research & Development


Lamellar Biomedical Ltd’s knowledge base comes from years of laboratory and clinical research into the ultrastructure and function of lamellar bodies in different tissues and disease conditions.  

Lamellar bodies were identified in the 1970’s as microbodies secreted by the lungs to form the surfactant essential to allow oxygen to pass from the air into the blood stream [Figure 1]. Although, at the time, it was believed that lamellar bodies were found only in lung alveolar tissue further research has shown that they are secreted in large numbers by other tissues and are present in the major body cavities, for example the peritoneum, pleura, pericardium and joints. 

Lamellar bodies are also secreted by specific cells in the skin, parts of the gastrointestinal tract, lachrymal and salivary glands, and reproductive organs. Lamellar bodies lubricate and protect tissue surfaces and serve in specialist functions, such as lung surfactant. Lamellar bodies are implicated in lung disease, psoriasis, ichthyosis, atherosclerosis, metabolic and neurological disorders and wound healing.

[Figure 1]:
An electron micrograph of a lamellar body fixed in glutaraldehyde/tannic acid mixture, displaying tightly-packed concentric lamellae.

There is much more to learn about the physiological function of the lamellar body secretory system and its role in diseases states.  We therefore pursue research collaborations into the lamellar body secretory system with academic and industrial partners.  We are particularly interested in and pursue our own research into the identification of lead candidates for the treatment of cardiovascular, dermatological and immunological diseases.