The stability (with respect to encapsulated carboxyfluorescein release) of fluorinated liposomes and their membrane permeability have been investigated in buffer and in human serum as compared to conventional hydrogenated analogues. These fluorinated liposomes are made from highly fluorinated phosphatidylcholines and contain a fluorinated core within their membrane. In buffer and in their fluid state, the fluorinated liposomes retain much more efficiently their entrapped content and display lower membrane permeability coefficients than any of their hydrogenated counterparts. This indicates that the fluorinated core acts as a very efficient barrier to permeation. In terms of molecular structure/permeability relationships, the thicker the fluorinated lipophobic core, the more efficient the barrier to permeation. In their gel state, the fluorinated core has, however, almost no effect on permeation. Interestingly, some of the 'fluid' fluorinated liposomes were even less permeable than 'gel' or 'gel-like' ones, including egg phosphatidylcholines/cholesterol liposomes. Human serum destabilizes the 'fluid' fluorinated liposomes but to a lesser extent than the 'fluid' hydrogenated ones, indicating that the fluorinated lipophobic core inside the liposomal membrane protects the vesicles, possibly by reducing their interactions with serum components. 'Gel' or 'gel-like' fluorinated liposomes are significantly more stable in serum than in buffer. They are also more stable than conventional 'gel' or 'gel-like' liposomes.