Mechanisms underlying interactions between PAMAM dendron-grafted surfaces with DPPC membranes†
Biofouling is a pervasive problem which demands the creation of smart, antifouling surfaces. Towards this end, we examine the interactions between a dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) lipid bilayer and a polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendron-grafted surface. In addition, we investigate the impact of dendron generation on the system behavior. To resolve the multiscale dynamical processes occurring over a large spatial scale, we employ Molecular Dynamics simulations with a coarse-grained implicit solvent force field. Our results demonstrate the transient and equilibrium system dynamics to be determined by the PAMAM dendron generation along with the underlying mechanisms. Higher generation dendrons are observed to favor penetration of the DPPC molecules into the dendron branches, thereby enabling sustained interactions between the membrane and the dendron-grafted surface. Under equilibrium, the membrane adopts a bowl-shaped morphology whose dimensions are determined by the dendron generation and density of interactions. The results from our study can be used to guide the design of novel surfaces with selective antifouling properties which can prevent the adsorption of microorganisms onto lipid membranes.