Issue 14, 2015

Influence of ligand distribution on uptake efficiency


Cellular uptake is a crucial process in nanomedicine and drug-delivery; however, the factors that affect its efficiency/speed are not well understood. We report computer simulations on passive uptake via receptor-mediated endocytosis of nanoparticle coated with ligands. In particular, we study how the distribution of ligands on the nanoparticle surface influences the uptake rate. The speed of membrane wrapping and uptake was found to be the fastest for nanoparticles with homogeneous ligand distributions, where ligands are spread evenly on the surface. We show that the diffusion of the ligands on the nanoparticle can hinder its uptake, since upon the interaction with the membrane the ligand distribution becomes extremely inhomogeneous, with a large ligand-free patch. When the ligand-free-area was more than 20% of the surface, we did not observe uptake within the scale of our simulations.

Graphical abstract: Influence of ligand distribution on uptake efficiency

Supplementary files

Article information

Article type
18 Dec 2014
05 Feb 2015
First published
16 Feb 2015
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY license

Soft Matter, 2015,11, 2726-2730

Author version available

Influence of ligand distribution on uptake efficiency

V. Schubertová, F. J. Martinez-Veracoechea and R. Vácha, Soft Matter, 2015, 11, 2726 DOI: 10.1039/C4SM02815E

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