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Materials 2014, 7(5), 3855-3866; doi:10.3390/ma7053855

Effect of Receptor Structure and Length on the Wrapping of a Nanoparticle by a Lipid Membrane

1,*  and 1,4,*
1 Center for Soft Condensed Matter Physics and Interdisciplinary Research, Soochow University, Suzhou 215006, Jiangsu, China 2 College of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Material Science, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, Jaingsu, China 3 College of Physics, Optoelectronics and Energy, Soochow University, Suzhou 215006, Jiangsu, China 4 National Laboratory of Solid State Microstructures and Department of Physics, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, Jiangsu, China
* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 April 2014 / Revised: 30 April 2014 / Accepted: 4 May 2014 / Published: 14 May 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Biomaterials)
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Nanoparticles have been considered as a type of powerful tool to deliver drugs and genes into cells for disease diagnosis and therapies. It has been generally accepted that the internalization of nanoparticles into cells is mostly realized by receptor-mediated endocytosis. However, for the influence of structural factors of receptors on endocytosis, this is still largely unknown. In this paper, computer simulations are applied to investigate the effects of structure (i.e., the number of constituent chains of the receptor) and the length of the receptor on the wrapping behavior of nanoparticles by the lipid membrane, which is a key step of receptor-medicated endocytosis. It is found that these structural factors of receptors have strong effects on the nanoparticle’s final interaction configuration with the membrane in the simulations, such as adhering on the membrane surface or being partly or fully wrapped by the membrane. Furthermore, in some cases, the rupture of the lipid membrane occurs. These results are helpful for the understanding of endocytosis and the preparation of advanced nanoscale drug-delivery vectors.
Keywords: lipid membrane; nanoparticle; receptor; endocytosis; computer simulations lipid membrane; nanoparticle; receptor; endocytosis; computer simulations
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Zhang, H.; Wang, L.; Yuan, B.; Yang, K.; Ma, Y. Effect of Receptor Structure and Length on the Wrapping of a Nanoparticle by a Lipid Membrane. Materials 2014, 7, 3855-3866.

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