Inorganic nanoparticles (NPs) represent promising examples of engineered nanomaterials, providing interesting biomedical solutions in several fields, like therapeutics and diagnostics. Despite the extensive number of investigations motivated by their remarkable potential for nanomedicinal applications, the interactions of NPs with biological interfaces are still poorly understood. The effect of NPs on living organisms is mediated by biological barriers, such as the cell plasma membrane, whose lateral heterogeneity is thought to play a prominent role in NPs adsorption and uptake pathways. In particular, biological membranes feature the presence of rafts, that is segregated lipid micro and/or nanodomains in the so-called liquid ordered phase (Lo), immiscible with the surrounding liquid disordered phase (Ld). Rafts are involved in various biological functions and act as sites for the selective adsorption of materials on the membrane. Indeed, the thickness mismatch present along their boundaries generates energetically favourable conditions for the adsorption of NPs. Despite its clear implications in NPs internalisation processes and cytotoxicity, a direct proof of the selective adsorption of NPs along the rafts’ boundaries is still missing to date. Here we use multicomponent supported lipid bilayers (SLBs) as reliable synthetic models, reproducing the nanometric lateral heterogeneity of cell membranes. After being characterised by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and neutron reflectivity (NR), multidomain SLBs are challenged by prototypical inorganic nanoparticles, that is citrated gold nanoparticles (AuNPs), under simplified and highly controlled conditions. By exploiting AFM, we demonstrate that AuNPs preferentially target lipid phase boundaries as adsorption sites. The herein reported study consolidates and extends the fundamental knowledge on NPs–membrane interactions, which constitute a key aspect to consider when designing NPs-related biomedical applications. Lay Description: Inorganic nanoparticles (NPs) represent promising examples of engineered nanomaterials, offering interesting biomedical solutions in multiple fields like therapeutics and diagnostics. Despite being extensively investigated due to their remarkable potential for nanomedicinal applications, the interaction of NPs with biological systems is in several cases still poorly understood. The interaction of NPs with living organisms is mediated by biological barriers, such as the cell plasma membrane. Supported lipid bilayers (SLBs) represent suitable synthetic membrane models for studying the physicochemical properties of natural interfaces and their interaction with inorganic nanomaterials under simplified and controlled conditions. Recently, multicomponent SLBs were developed in order to mimic the lateral heterogeneity of most biological membranes. In particular, biological membranes feature the presence of rafts, that is segregated lipid micro and/or nanodomains, enriched in cholesterol, sphingomyelin, saturated glycerophospholipids and glycosphingolipids: these lipids segregate in the so-called liquid-ordered phase (Lo), characterised by a high molecular packing degree, which promotes the phase separation from the surrounding liquid-crystalline (disordered, Ld) phase, where the intermolecular mobility is increased. Rafts are thought to participate in the formation and targeting of nano-sized biogenic lipid vesicles and are also actively involved in multiple membrane processes. Indeed, Lo–Ld phase boundaries represent high energy areas, providing active sites for the preferential adsorption of external material. The selective adsorption of NPs along the phase boundaries of rafted membranes has been theorised and indirectly probed by different research groups; however, a direct proof of this phenomenon is still missing to date. We herein exploit atomic force microscopy (AFM) to directly visualise the preferential adsorption of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) along the phase boundaries of multicomponent SLBs (previously characterised by neutron reflectivity), obtained from synthetic vesicles containing both an Ld and an Lo phase. The quantitative localisation and morphometry of AuNPs adsorbed on the SLB reveal important information on their interaction with the lipid matrix and directly prove the already theorised differential NPs–lipid interaction at the phase boundaries. The presented results could help the development of future NP-based applications, involving NPs adsorption on membranes with nanoscale phase segregations.

Gold nanoparticles interacting with synthetic lipid rafts: an AFM investigation / Ridolfi A.; Caselli L.; Montis C.; Mangiapia G.; Berti D.; Brucale M.; Valle F.. - In: JOURNAL OF MICROSCOPY. - ISSN 0022-2720. - ELETTRONICO. - 280:(2020), pp. 194-203. [10.1111/jmi.12910]

Gold nanoparticles interacting with synthetic lipid rafts: an AFM investigation

Ridolfi A.;Caselli L.;Montis C.;Berti D.;
2020

Abstract

Inorganic nanoparticles (NPs) represent promising examples of engineered nanomaterials, providing interesting biomedical solutions in several fields, like therapeutics and diagnostics. Despite the extensive number of investigations motivated by their remarkable potential for nanomedicinal applications, the interactions of NPs with biological interfaces are still poorly understood. The effect of NPs on living organisms is mediated by biological barriers, such as the cell plasma membrane, whose lateral heterogeneity is thought to play a prominent role in NPs adsorption and uptake pathways. In particular, biological membranes feature the presence of rafts, that is segregated lipid micro and/or nanodomains in the so-called liquid ordered phase (Lo), immiscible with the surrounding liquid disordered phase (Ld). Rafts are involved in various biological functions and act as sites for the selective adsorption of materials on the membrane. Indeed, the thickness mismatch present along their boundaries generates energetically favourable conditions for the adsorption of NPs. Despite its clear implications in NPs internalisation processes and cytotoxicity, a direct proof of the selective adsorption of NPs along the rafts’ boundaries is still missing to date. Here we use multicomponent supported lipid bilayers (SLBs) as reliable synthetic models, reproducing the nanometric lateral heterogeneity of cell membranes. After being characterised by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and neutron reflectivity (NR), multidomain SLBs are challenged by prototypical inorganic nanoparticles, that is citrated gold nanoparticles (AuNPs), under simplified and highly controlled conditions. By exploiting AFM, we demonstrate that AuNPs preferentially target lipid phase boundaries as adsorption sites. The herein reported study consolidates and extends the fundamental knowledge on NPs–membrane interactions, which constitute a key aspect to consider when designing NPs-related biomedical applications. Lay Description: Inorganic nanoparticles (NPs) represent promising examples of engineered nanomaterials, offering interesting biomedical solutions in multiple fields like therapeutics and diagnostics. Despite being extensively investigated due to their remarkable potential for nanomedicinal applications, the interaction of NPs with biological systems is in several cases still poorly understood. The interaction of NPs with living organisms is mediated by biological barriers, such as the cell plasma membrane. Supported lipid bilayers (SLBs) represent suitable synthetic membrane models for studying the physicochemical properties of natural interfaces and their interaction with inorganic nanomaterials under simplified and controlled conditions. Recently, multicomponent SLBs were developed in order to mimic the lateral heterogeneity of most biological membranes. In particular, biological membranes feature the presence of rafts, that is segregated lipid micro and/or nanodomains, enriched in cholesterol, sphingomyelin, saturated glycerophospholipids and glycosphingolipids: these lipids segregate in the so-called liquid-ordered phase (Lo), characterised by a high molecular packing degree, which promotes the phase separation from the surrounding liquid-crystalline (disordered, Ld) phase, where the intermolecular mobility is increased. Rafts are thought to participate in the formation and targeting of nano-sized biogenic lipid vesicles and are also actively involved in multiple membrane processes. Indeed, Lo–Ld phase boundaries represent high energy areas, providing active sites for the preferential adsorption of external material. The selective adsorption of NPs along the phase boundaries of rafted membranes has been theorised and indirectly probed by different research groups; however, a direct proof of this phenomenon is still missing to date. We herein exploit atomic force microscopy (AFM) to directly visualise the preferential adsorption of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) along the phase boundaries of multicomponent SLBs (previously characterised by neutron reflectivity), obtained from synthetic vesicles containing both an Ld and an Lo phase. The quantitative localisation and morphometry of AuNPs adsorbed on the SLB reveal important information on their interaction with the lipid matrix and directly prove the already theorised differential NPs–lipid interaction at the phase boundaries. The presented results could help the development of future NP-based applications, involving NPs adsorption on membranes with nanoscale phase segregations.
280
194
203
Ridolfi A.; Caselli L.; Montis C.; Mangiapia G.; Berti D.; Brucale M.; Valle F.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2158/1218290
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