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Nano Lett. 2013 Sep 11;13(9):4060-7. doi: 10.1021/nl401365n. Epub 2013 Aug 20.

Effect of particle diameter and surface composition on the spontaneous fusion of monolayer-protected gold nanoparticles with lipid bilayers.

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1
Department of Materials Science and Engineering and ‡Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology , Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, United States.

Abstract

Anionic, monolayer-protected gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) have been shown to nondisruptively penetrate cellular membranes. Here, we show that a critical first step in the penetration process is potentially the fusion of such AuNPs with lipid bilayers. Free energy calculations, experiments on unilamellar and multilamellar vesicles, and cell studies all support this hypothesis. Furthermore, we show that fusion is only favorable for AuNPs with core diameters below a critical size that depends on the monolayer composition.

PMID:
23915118
PMCID:
PMC4177149
DOI:
10.1021/nl401365n
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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