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Langmuir. 2019 Feb 19;35(7):2702-2708. doi: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.8b03805. Epub 2019 Feb 11.

Nanovesicles Versus Nanoparticle-Supported Lipid Bilayers: Massive Differences in Bilayer Structures and in Diffusivities of Lipid Molecules and Nanoconfined Water.

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Department of Mechanical Engineering , University of Maryland , College Park , Maryland 20742 , United States.
Laboratory of Molecular Biology , National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health , Bethesda , Maryland 20892 , United States.


We carry out molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to compare the equilibrium architecture and properties of nanoparticle-supported lipid bilayers (NPSLBLs) with the free vesicles of similar dimensions. Three key differences emerge. First, we witness that for a free vesicle, a much larger number of lipid molecules occupy the outer layer as compared to the inner layer; on the other hand, for the NPSLBL the number of lipid molecules occupying the inner and outer layers is identical. Second, we witness that the diffusivities of the lipid molecules occupying both the inner and the outer layers of the free vesicles are identical, whereas for the NPSLBLs the diffusivity of the lipid molecules in the outer layer is more than twice the diffusivity of the lipid molecules in the inner layer. Finally, the NPSLBLs entrap nanoscopic thin water film between the inner lipid layer and the NP and the diffusivity of this water film is nearly 1 order of magnitude smaller than the diffusivity of the bulk water; on the other hand, the water inside the free vesicles has a diffusivity that is only slightly lower than that of the bulk water. Our findings, possibly the first probing the atomistic details of the NPSLBLs, are anticipated to shed light on the properties of this important nanomaterial with applications in a large number of disciplines ranging from drug and gene delivery to characterizing curvature-sensitive molecules.

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