Interactions between Janus particles and membranes

HM Ding and YQ Ma, NANOSCALE, 4, 1116-1122 (2012).

DOI: 10.1039/c1nr11425e

Understanding how nanoparticles interact with cell membranes is of great importance in drug/gene delivery. In this paper, we investigate the interactions between Janus particles and membranes by using dissipative particle dynamics, and find that there exist two different modes (i.e., insertion and engulfment) in the Janus particle-membrane interactions. The initial orientation and properties of Janus particles have an important impact on the interactions. When the hydrophilic part of the particle is close to the membrane or the particle has a larger section area and higher hydrophilic coverage, the particle is more likely to be engulfed by the membrane. We also provide insights into the interactions between Janus particles and membranes containing lipid rafts, and find that a Janus particle could easily detach from a membrane after it is engulfed by the raft. The present study suggests a potential way to translocate Janus particles through membranes, which may give some significant suggestions on future nanoparticle design for drug delivery.

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