Receptor-ligand (R-L) binding mediated interactions between the plasma membrane (PM) and a nanoparticle (NP) require the ligand-functionalized NPs to come to a distance of separation (DOS) of at least dRL (length of the R-L complex) from the receptor-bearing membranes. In this letter, we establish that the membrane surface charges and the surrounding ionic environment dictate whether or not the attainment of such a critical DOS is possible. The negatively charged membrane invariably induces a negative electrostatic potential at the NP surface, repelling the NP from the membrane. This is countered by the attractive influences of the thermal fluctuations and van der Waals (vdw) interactions that drive the NP close to the membrane. For a NP approaching the membrane from a distance, the ratio of the repulsive (electrostatic) and attractive (thermal and vdW) effects balances at a critical NP-membrane DOS of dg,c. For a given set of parameters, there can be two possible values of dg,c, namely, dg,c,1 and dg,c,2 with dg,c,1 ≫ dg,c,2. We establish that any R-L mediated NP-membrane interaction is possible only if dRL > dg,c,1. Therefore, our study proposes a design criterion for engineering ligands for a NP that will ensure the appropriate length of the R-L complex in order to ensure the successful membrane-NP interaction in the presence of a given electrostatic environment. Finally, we discuss the manner in which our theory can help designing ligand-grafted NPs for targeted drug delivery, design biomimetics NPs, and also explain various experimental results.
Role of plasma membrane surface charges in dictating the feasibility of membrane-nanoparticle interactions
Shayandev Sinha, Haoyuan Jing, Harnoor Singh Sachar, Siddhartha Das; Role of plasma membrane surface charges in dictating the feasibility of membrane-nanoparticle interactions. Appl. Phys. Lett. 25 December 2017; 111 (26): 263702. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5011208
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