Zaki Harris - Delaware State University
Co-Author(s): Albert Jin, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, Bethesda, MD Qi Lu, Delaware State University, Dover, DE
The past decade has witnessed the increasing integration of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) in the biological systems for biomedical and pharmaceutical applications. This makes it imperative to understand how AuNPs interact with cell membranes, the first barriers to be crossed in order to enter the cellular systems. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is a scanning method used to image the topography of surfaces as well as to study the elastic properties of materials. Its capability of producing force-distance curves allows for the analysis of elastic and adhesive properties on soft surfaces such as lipid bilayers, which is a major constituent of cell membranes. When gold nanoparticles (AuNPs), a biologically inert yet compatible material, are added to lipid bilayers, the fluidity or the packing of lipid bilayers is affected, as found from our previous spectrofluorometry study.
To further understand the impact of AuNPs on phospholipid packing, nanomechanics analysis mode of AFM was utilized to reveal the impact of AuNPs on the Young’s modulus of lipid bilayers. The goal of this study is to gain insights from the experimental evidences on the fundamental factors that determine the biophysical interactions at bio-nano interface.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): This project was supported by the NIH NIGMS IDeA Program (Grant #P20 GM103446) and NSF CREST Program (Grant #1242067).
Faculty Advisor: Qi Lu,