Research highlights: towards further understanding nanoparticle–cellular membrane interactions
With the continued increase in commercial and industrial use of nanomaterials, their interactions with biological interfaces in applied and natural systems will need to be understood to improve efficacy and assess ecological risks. Model systems are currently being developed that can be used to evaluate nanomaterial or cellular characteristics affecting the mechanism of attachment and uptake. The development of methods that can provide higher throughput for surveying specific interactions is also valuable for evaluating risk and binning systems of similar behavior, which can direct further detailed examination of specific systems. The first highlighted study demonstrates the development of supported phase segregated lipid bilayers with thoroughly characterized structures, which were subsequently used for evaluating specific chemical and morphological properties contributing to observed nanoparticle–membrane interactions. The second study employs a high throughput approach for evaluating lipid bilayer–nanoparticle interactions by using arrays of bilayers on a chip. The arrays provide a large parameter space to be examined, which included changes in both solution and membrane composition. The last study demonstrates the importance of the nanoparticles' mechanical properties on uptake by the cellular membrane using a combined experimental and computational approach.