Cellular Injection Using Carbon Nanotube: A Molecular Dynamics Study

SH Mahboobi and A Taheri and HN Pishkenari and A Meghdari and M Hemmat, NANO, 10, 1550025 (2015).

DOI: 10.1142/S1793292015500253

Determination of an injection condition which is minimally invasive to the cell membrane is of great importance in drug and gene delivery. For this purpose, a series of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are conducted to study the penetration of a carbon nanotube (CNT) into a pure POPC cell membrane under various injection velocities, CNT tilt angles and chirality parameters. The simulations are nonequilibrium and all-atom. The force and stress exerted on the nanotube, deformation of the lipid bilayer, and strain of the CNT atoms are inspected during the simulations. We found that a lower nanotube velocity results in successfully entering the membrane with minimum disruption in the CNT and the lipid bilayer, and CNT's chirality distinctly affects the results. Moreover, it is shown that the tilt angle of the CNT influences the nanotube's buckling and may result in destroying the membrane structure during the injection process.

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