Interfacial interactions between natural RBC membranes and synthetic polymeric nanoparticles†
The unique structural features and stealth properties of a recently developed red blood cell membrane-cloaked nanoparticle (RBC-NP) platform raise curiosity over the interfacial interactions between natural cellular membranes and polymeric nanoparticle substrates. Herein, several interfacial aspects of the RBC-NPs are examined, including completeness of membrane coverage, membrane sidedness upon coating, and the effects of polymeric particles' surface charge and surface curvature on the membrane cloaking process. The study shows that RBC membranes completely cover negatively charged polymeric nanoparticles in a right-side-out manner and enhance the particles' colloidal stability. The membrane cloaking process is applicable to particle substrates with a diameter ranging from 65 to 340 nm. Additionally, the study reveals that both surface glycans on RBC membranes and the substrate properties play a significant role in driving and directing the membrane–particle assembly. These findings further the understanding of the dynamics between cellular membranes and nanoscale substrates and provide valuable information toward future development and characterization of cellular membrane-cloaked nanodevices.