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Modulating interactions between ligand-coated nanoparticles and phase-separated lipid bilayers by varying the ligand density and the surface charge

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Abstract

The interactions between nanoparticles and lipid bilayers are critical in applications of nanoparticles in nanomedicine, cell imaging, toxicology, and elsewhere. Here, we investigate the interactions between nanoparticles coated with neutral and/or charged ligands and phase-separated lipid bilayers using coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulation. Both penetration and adsorption processes as well as the final distribution of the nanoparticles can be readily modulated by varying the ligand density and the surface charge of the nanoparticles. Completely hydrophobic (neutral) nanoparticles with larger size initially preferentially penetrate into the liquid-disordered region of the lipid bilayer and finally transfer into the liquid-ordered region; partially hydrophilic nanoparticles with low or moderate surface charge tend to either distribute in the liquid-disordered region or be adsorbed on the surface of the lipid bilayer, while strongly hydrophilic nanoparticles with high surface charge always reside on the surface of the lipid bilayer. Interactions of the nanoparticles with the lipid bilayers are affected by the surface charge of nanoparticles, hydrophobic mismatch, bending of the ligands, and the packing state of the lipids. Insight in these factors can be used to improve the efficiency of designing nanoparticles for specific applications.

Graphical abstract: Modulating interactions between ligand-coated nanoparticles and phase-separated lipid bilayers by varying the ligand density and the surface charge

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Publication details

The article was received on 31 Aug 2017, accepted on 10 Jan 2018 and first published on 10 Jan 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7NR06494B
Citation: Nanoscale, 2018, Advance Article
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    Modulating interactions between ligand-coated nanoparticles and phase-separated lipid bilayers by varying the ligand density and the surface charge

    X. Chen, D. P. Tieleman and Q. Liang, Nanoscale, 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7NR06494B

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