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Real-Time Detection of Nanoparticles Interaction with Lipid Membranes Using an Integrated Acoustical and Electrical Multimode Biosensor

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Real-Time Detection of Nanoparticles Interaction with Lipid Membranes Using an Integrated Acoustical and Electrical Multimode Biosensor

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Abstract

Understanding interactions of nanoparticles with biomembranes is critical in nanomedicine and nanobiotechnology. The underlying mechanisms still remain unclear due to the fact that there are no reliable tools to follow such complex processes. In this work, the interactions between gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) and the supported lipid bilayer (SLB) are monitored in situ by a multimode biosensor integrating a quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation function (QCM‐D) and a field effect transistor (FET). Real‐time responses of frequency shift (Δf), dissipation (ΔD), and ion current (ΔI) are simultaneously recorded to provide complementary information for AuNPs translocation across the SLB. The combined mass loading, mechanical and electrical measurements reveal the dynamics of the particle–membrane interactions as well as the formation of transient pores or permanent defects in the membrane. AuNPs with different diameters, surface charge, and ligand properties are used to study their translocation behaviors, including adsorption on or desorption from the membrane surface, diffusion into or penetration through the lipid bilayer. This multimode sensing approach provides insights into the mechanism of the particle–membrane interactions and suggests a method of label‐free screening of nanomaterials' interaction with model membranes in a real‐time manner.

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Understanding as well as rapidly screening the interaction of nanoparticles with cell membranes is of central importance for biological applications such as drug and gene delivery. Recently, we have shown that 'striped' mixed-monolayer coated gold nanoparticles spontaneously penetrate a variety of cell membranes through a passive pathway. Here, we report an electrical approach to screen and readily quantify the interaction between nanoparticles and bilayer lipid membranes. Membrane adsorption is monitored through the capacitive increase of suspended planar lipid membranes upon fusion with nanoparticles. We adopt a Langmuir isotherm model to characterize the adsorption of nanoparticles by bilayer lipid membranes and extract the partition coefficient, K, and the standard free energy gain by this spontaneous process, for a variety of sizes of cell-membrane penetrating nanoparticles. We believe that the method presented here will be a useful qualitative and quantitative tool to determine nanoparticle interaction with lipid bilayers and consequently with cell membranes.
Article
A simple method is proposed to control the size of alkanethiol-protected Au nanoparticles by heat treatment in the solid state. The mean diameter of the Au nanoparticles prepared by Brust's two-phase method (1.5 nm) was evolved to 3.4−9.7 nm by heating to 150−250 °C in air. The uniform growth of nanoparticles was not observed when tetraoctylammonium bromide (TOAB), which was used as a phase-transfer agent during the preparation of Au nanoparticles, was removed before the particle growth process. The crystal structures of Au nanoparticles and alkanethiol ligand structures on Au nanoparticles were characterized before and after the heat treatment. The size-evolution mechanism was discussed on the basis of the thermodynamic model. The heat-treated Au nanoparticles easily formed self-assembled 2D superlattices with hexagonal packing, where the alkanethiol protective agents with an all-trans conformation were estimated to interpenetrate each other.
Article
Surface hydrophobicity plays a significant role in controlling the interactions between nanoparticles and lipid membranes. In principle, a nanoparticle can be encapsulated into a liposome, either being incorporated into the hydrophobic bilayer interior or trapped within the aqueous vesicle core. In this paper, we demonstrate the preparation and characterization of polymer-functionalized CdSe NPs, tuning their interaction with mixed lipid/polymer membranes from 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phophocholine and PIB(87)-b-PEO(17) block copolymer by varying their surface hydrophobicity. It is observed that hydrophobic PIB-modified CdSe NPs can be selectively located within polymer domains in a mixed lipid/polymer monolayer at the air/water interface, changing their typical domain morphologies, while amphiphilic PIB-PEO-modified CdSe NPs showed no specific localization in phase-separated lipid/polymer films. In addition, hydrophilic water-soluble CdSe NPs can readily adsorb onto spread monolayers, showing a larger effect on the molecule packing at the air/water interface in the case of pure lipid films compared to mixed monolayers. Furthermore, the incorporation of PIB-modified CdSe NPs into hybrid lipid/polymer GUVs is demonstrated with respect to the prevailing phase state of the hybrid membrane. Monitoring fluorescent-labeled PIB-CdSe NPs embedded into phase-separated vesicles, it is demonstrated that they are enriched in one specific phase, thus probing their selective incorporation into the hydrophobic portion of PIB(87)-b-PEO(17) BCP-rich domains. Thus, the formation of biocompatible hybrid GUVs with selectively incorporated nanoparticles opens a new perspective for subtle engineering of membranes together with their (nano-) phase structure serving as a model system in designing functional nanomaterials for effective nanomedicine or drug delivery.
Article
We developed an integrated device comprising a quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) and a field-effect transistor (FET) with a single common gold electrode in a flow chamber. An alternating current inducing oscillations in the piezoelectric quartz of the QCM sensor is electrically independent of the circuit for the FET output so that the two sensors in different detection mechanisms simultaneously record binding kinetics from a single protein solution on the same electrode. A conjunction of adsorbed mass from QCM with electric nature of bound protein from FET provided deeper understanding on a complex process of nonspecific protein adsorption and subsequent conformational changes at a solid/liquid interface. Lower apparent k(on) values obtained by FET than those obtained by QCM on hydrophobic surfaces are interpreted as preferred binding of protein molecules facing uncharged domains to the electrode surface, whereas higher k(off) values by FET than those by QCM imply active macromolecular rearrangements on the surfaces mainly driven by hydrophobic association in an aqueous medium. The advanced features of the combined sensor including in situ, label-free, and real-time monitoring provide information on structural dynamics, beyond measurements of affinities and kinetics in biological binding reactions.
Article
A seed-mediated growth approach to improved monodispersity of nanoparticles that involves controlling nucleation and growth in solution is presented. Using this approach, spheroidal and rod-like gold particles (see Figure) could be prepared in the presence of a rod-like micellar template. The aspect ratio of the particles could be varied from 1 to 10 by varying the ratio of preformed seed to metal salt.
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The wide variety of core materials available, coupled with tunable surface properties make nanoparticles an excellent platform for a broad range of brological and biomedical applications. This Review provides an introduction to nanoparticle-biomolecular interactions as well as recent applications of nanoparticles in biological, sensing delivery, and imaging of live cells and tissues.
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We have investigated the interaction between graphene oxide and lipid membranes, using both supported lipid membranes and supported liposomes. Also, the reverse situation, where a surface coated with graphene oxide was exposed to liposomes in solution, was studied. We discovered graphene oxide-induced rupture of preadsorbed liposomes and the formation of a nanocomposite, bio-nonbio multilayer structure, consisting of alternating graphene oxide monolayers and lipid membranes. The assembly process was monitored in real time by two complementary surface analytical techniques (the quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring technique (QCM-D) and dual polarization interferometry (DPI)), and the formed structures were imaged with atomic force microscopy (AFM). From a basic science point of view, the results point toward the importance of electrostatic interactions between graphene oxide and lipid headgroups. Implications from a more practical point of view concern structure-activity relationship for biological health/safety aspects of graphene oxide and the potential of the nanocomposite, multilayer structure as scaffolds for advanced biomolecular functions and sensing applications.
Article
We report here that a hairpin-structured DNA that possesses an anti-ATP aptamer sequence successfully detected target ATP or adenosine in a temperature-dependent manner by nanoscale intramolecular displacement on the surface of a gold electrode as an extended gate of a field-effect transistor (FET). The structural switching of the hairpin aptamer from closed loop to open-loop conformations was accompanied by the release of the preloaded DNA binder (DAPI) from the stem part of the hairpin aptamer into the solution phase. The loss of intrinsic positive charges of DAPI (2+) from the diffusion layer at the gate/solution nano-interface as a result of target capturing was responsible for generating a specific signal by the field-effect. We emphasize a new aspect of the structured DNA aptamer in combination with FET: the DAPI-loaded hairpin aptamer successfully detected even uncharged adenosine, which remains a major challenge for FET-based biosensors. Given the simplicity in design of the primary and secondary structures of oligonucleotide aptamers, it is easy to apply this technology to a wide variety of bio-analytes, irrespective of their electric charges. In view of these advantages, our findings may offer a new trend in the design of stimuli-responsive "smart" biomolecular switches for semiconductor-based biosensors.
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Although different nanosized materials, including quantum dots (QDs), are intended to be used for biomedical applications, their interactions with microvessels and their inflammatory potential are largely unknown. In this in vivo study we report that leukocyte recruitment is modulated in the presence of quantum dots. We found that the surface chemistry of QDs strongly affects their localization in postcapillary venules, their uptake by perivascular macrophages, and their potential to modify steps of leukocyte recruitment.
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We present a supported membrane platform consisting of a fluid lipid bilayer membrane embedded with a fixed array of gold nanoparticles. The system is realized by preforming a hexagonal array of gold nanoparticles (∼5-7 nm) with controlled spacing (∼50-150 nm) fixed to a silica or glass substrate by block copolymer lithography. Subsequently, a supported membrane is assembled over the intervening bare substrate. Proteins or other ligands can be associated with the fluid lipid component, the fixed nanoparticle component, or both, providing a hybrid interface consisting of mobile and immobile components with controlled geometry. We test different biochemical coupling strategies to bind individual proteins to the particles surrounded by a fluid lipid membrane. The coupling efficiency to nanoparticles and the influence of nanoparticle arrays on the surrounding membrane integrity are characterized by fluorescence imaging, correlation spectroscopy, and super-resolution fluorescence microscopy. Finally, the functionality of this system for live cell experiments is tested using the ephrin-A1-EphA2 juxtacrine signaling interaction in human breast epithelial cells.
Article
This article describes efforts to build a model biological membrane at a surface of a gold electrode. In this architecture, the membrane may be exposed to static electric fields on the order of 10(7) to 10(8) V m(-1). These fields are comparable in magnitude to the static electric field acting on a natural biological membrane. The field may be conveniently used to manipulate organic molecules within the membrane. By turning a knob on the control instrument one can deposit or lift the membrane from the gold surface. Electrochemical techniques can be used to control the physical state of the film while the infrared reflection absorption spectroscopy (IRRAS), surface imaging by STM and AFM and neutron scattering techniques can be employed to study conformational changes of organic molecules and their ordering within the membrane. This is shown on examples of membranes built of a simple zwitterionic phospholipid such as 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphatidylcholine (DMPC) and a mixed membrane composed of DMPC and cholesterol. The results illustrate the tremendous effect of cholesterol on the membrane structure. Two methods of membrane deposition at the electrode surface, namely by unilamellar vesicles fusion and using the Langmuir-Blodgett technique, are compared. Applications of these model systems to study interactions of small antibiotic peptides with lipids are discussed.
Article
Nanoparticle penetration into cell membranes is an interesting phenomenon that may have crucial implications on the nanoparticles' biomedical applications. In this paper, a coarse-grained model for gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) is developed (verified against experimental data available) to simulate their interactions with model lipid membranes. Simulations reveal that AuNPs with different signs and densities of surface charges spontaneously adhere to the bilayer surface or penetrate into the bilayer interior. The potential of mean force calculations show that the energy gains upon adhesion or penetration is significant. In the case of penetration, it is found that defective areas are induced across the entire surface of the upper leaflet of the bilayer and a hydrophilic pore that transports water molecules was formed with its surrounding lipids highly disordered. Penetration and its concomitant membrane disruptions can be a possible mechanism of the two observed phenomena in experiments: AuNPs bypass endocytosis during their internalization into cells and cytotoxicity of AuNPs. It is also found that both the level of penetration and membrane disruption increase as the charge density of the AuNP increases, but in different manners. The findings suggest a way of controlling the AuNP-cell interactions by manipulating surface charge densities of AuNPs to achieve designated goals in their biomedical applications, such as striking a balance between their cellular uptake and cytotoxicity in order to achieve optimal delivery efficiency as delivery agents.
Article
A novel set-up combining the quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring technique (QCM-D) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) under flow conditions was successfully used to follow supported lipid bilayer (SLB) formation on SiO(2). This study demonstrates the simultaneous detection, in real time, of both the electrical and the structural properties of the SLB. The combination of the two techniques provided novel insights regarding the mechanism of SLB formation: we found indications for an annealing process of the lipid alkyl chains after the mass corresponding to complete bilayer coverage had been deposited. Moreover, the interaction of the SLB with the pore-forming toxin, gramicidin D (grD) was studied for grD concentrations ranging from 0.05 to 40 mg L(-1). Membrane properties were altered depending on the toxin concentration. For low grD concentrations, the electrical properties of the SLB changed upon insertion of active ion channels. For higher concentrations, the QCM-D data showed dramatic changes in the viscoelastic properties of the membrane while the EIS spectra did not change. AFM confirmed significant structural changes of the membrane at higher grD concentrations. Thus, the application of combined QCM-D and EIS detection provides complementary information about the system under study. This information will be particularly important for the continued detailed investigation of interactions at model membrane surfaces.
Article
The interaction of nanomaterials with cells and lipid bilayers is critical in many applications such as phototherapy, imaging, and drug/gene delivery. These applications require a firm control over nanoparticle-cell interactions, which are mainly dictated by surface properties of nanoparticles. This critical Review presents an understanding of how synthetic and natural chemical moieties on the nanoparticle surface (in addition to nanoparticle shape and size) impact their interaction with lipid bilayers and cells. Challenges for undertaking a systematic study to elucidate nanoparticle-cell interactions are also discussed.
Article
A thermodynamic model for receptor-mediated endocytosis of ligand-coated nanoparticles (NPs) was discovered by demonstrating the cellular uptake of ligand-coated NPs. The study also investigated the effects of membrane tension and of the surface concentration of NPs on the cellular uptake. Three regimes were identified and separated by two characteristic particle radii, R min and Rmax. The model predicts an optimal surface concentration beyond which the cellular uptake decreases due to the competition of receptors among NPs. During endocytosis, wrapping of NPs may proceed by insertion of lipids from cytoplasm into highly curved regions rather than by laterally pulling the lipids, which effectively lowers the stretching energy. The results showed that the predicted maximal cellular uptake of NPs is valuable for assessing NP toxicity, the efficiency of NP-based bioimaging and biomakers, and the therapeutic efficacy of NP based drug carriers.
Article
Tiny details of the phospholipid (DMPC) membrane morphology in close vicinity to nanostructured silica surfaces have been discovered in the atomic force microscopy experiments. The structural features of the silica surface were varied in the experiments by the deposition of silica nanoparticles of different diameter on plane and smooth silica substrates. It was found that, due to the barrier function of the lipid membrane, only particles larger than 22 nm in diameter with a smooth surface were completely enveloped by the lipid membrane. However, nanoparticles with bumpy surfaces (curvature diameter of bumps as that of particles <22 nm) were only partially enveloped by the lipid bilayer. For the range of nanostructure dimensions between 1.2 and 22 nm, the lipid membrane underwent structural rearrangements by forming pores (holes). The nanoparticles were accommodated into the pores but not enveloped by the lipid bilayer. The study also found that the lipid membrane conformed to the substrate with surface structures of dimensions less than 1.2 nm without losing the membrane integrity. The experimental results are in accord with the analytical free energy model, which describes the membrane coverage, and numerical simulations which evaluate adhesion of the membrane and dynamics as a function of surface topology. The results obtained in this study are useful for the selection of dimensions and shapes for drug-delivery cargo and for the substrate for supported lipid bilayers. They also help in qualitative understanding the role of length scales involved in the mechanisms of endocytosis and cytotoxicity of nanoparticles. These findings provide a new approach for patterning supported lipid membranes with well-defined features in the 1.2-22 nm range.
Article
Supported lipid bilayers (SLBs) are popular models of cell membranes with potential bio-technological applications. A qualitative understanding of the process of SLB formation after exposure of small lipid vesicles to a hydrophilic support is now emerging. Recent studies have revealed a stunning variety of effects that can take place during this self-organization process. The ensemble of results in our group has revealed unprecedented insight into intermediates of the SLB-formation process and has helped to identify a number of parameters that are determinant for the lipid deposition on solid supports. The pathway of lipid deposition can be tuned by electrostatic interactions and by the presence of calcium. We emphasize the importance of the solid support in the SLB-formation process. Our results suggest that the molecular-level interaction between lipids and the solid support needs to be considered explicitly, to understand the rupture of vesicles and the formation of SLBs as well as to predict the properties of the resulting SLB. The impact of the SLB-formation process on the quality and the physical properties of the resulting SLB as well as implications for other types of surface-confined lipid bilayers are discussed.
Article
Optically switchable dual-color fluorescent nanoparticles that incorporate two classes of dyes into the polymeric chains have been synthesized using an emulsion polymerization method. The nanoparticles consist of an organic photoisomerizable dye, spiropyran, as an optically responsive component and another fluorescent dye, perylene diimide, as a high-energy emitter. Under UV irradiation, the colorless spiropyran undergoes photoisomerization to yield merocyanine, which absorbs at 588 nm and fluoresces strongly at 670 nm. The absorption band of the merocyanine matches well the fluorescence bands of perylene diimide (at 535 and 575 nm), and therefore fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) converts the high-energy green emission of the perylene into low-energy red emission when the merocyanine form is present. Upon exposure to alternating UV (< 400 nm) and visible (> 420 nm) light, the nanoparticles cycle between red and green fluorescence as the spiro and mero forms of the optically responsive component interconvert. The relative photoluminescent intensities of the green-fluorescence perylene diimide and red-fluorescence merocyanines can be controlled by varying the feed ratio of perylene diimide and spiropyran monomer during polymerization. These dual-color fluorescent nanoparticles were developed as potential new tools for biomedical applications and live-cell imaging. When delivered into HEK-293 cells, they display either red or green fluorescence, depending upon the wavelength of light to which the cells are highlighted.
Article
Polycationic organic nanoparticles are shown to disrupt model biological membranes and living cell membranes at nanomolar concentrations. The degree of disruption is shown to be related to nanoparticle size and charge, as well as to the phase-fluid, liquid crystalline, or gel-of the biological membrane. Disruption events on model membranes have been directly imaged using scanning probe microscopy, whereas disruption events on living cells have been analyzed using cytosolic enzyme leakage assays, dye diffusion assays, and fluorescence microscopy.
Article
Nanoparticles with widely varying physical properties and origins (spherical versus irregular, synthetic versus biological, organic versus inorganic, flexible versus rigid, small versus large) have been previously noted to translocate across the cell plasma membrane. We have employed atomic force microscopy to determine if the physical disruption of lipid membranes, formation of holes and/or thinned regions, is a common mechanism of interaction between these nanoparticles and lipids. It was found that a wide variety of nanoparticles, including a cell penetrating peptide (MSI-78), a protein (TAT), polycationic polymers (PAMAM dendrimers, pentanol-core PAMAM dendrons, polyethyleneimine, and diethylaminoethyl-dextran), and two inorganic particles (Au-NH2, SiO2-NH2), can induce disruption, including the formation of holes, membrane thinning, and/or membrane erosion, in supported lipid bilayers.
Article
A nanoscale range of surface feature curvatures where lipid membranes lose integrity and form pores has been found experimentally. The pores were experimentally observed in the l-alpha-dimyristoyl phosphatidylcholine membrane around 1.2-22 nm polar nanoparticles deposited on mica surface. Lipid bilayer envelops or closely follows surface features with the curvatures outside of that region. This finding provides essential information for the understanding of nanoparticle-lipid membrane interaction, cytotoxicity, preparation of biomolecular templates and supported lipid membranes on rough and patterned surfaces.
  • K Sokolov
  • M Follen
  • J Aaron
  • I Pavlova
  • A Malpica
  • R Lotan
  • R Richards-Kortum
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