Stability of Lipid Coatings on Nanoparticle-Decorated Surfaces

Parva Patel, Kolattukudy P. Santo, Sean Burgess, Aleksey Vishnyakov, Alexander V. Neimark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Lipid membranes supported on solid surfaces and nanoparticles find multiple applications in industrial and biomedical technologies. Here, we explore in silico the mechanisms of the interactions of lipid membranes with nanostructured surfaces with deposited nanoparticles and explain the characteristic particle size dependence of the uniformity and stability of lipid coatings observed in vitro. Simulations are performed to demonstrate the specifics of 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DMPC) lipid membrane adhesion to hydrophilic and hydrophobic nanoparticles ranging in size from 1.5 to 40 nm using an original coarse-grained molecular dynamics model with implicit solvent and large simulation boxes (scales up to 280 × 154 × 69 nm3). We find that one of the major factors that affects the uniformity and stability of lipid coatings is the disjoining pressure in the water hydration layer formed between the lipid membrane and hydrophilic solid surface. This effect is accounted for by introducing a special long-range lipid-solid interaction potential that mimics the effects of the disjoining pressure in thin water layers. Our simulations reveal the physical mechanisms of interactions of lipid bilayers with solid surfaces that are responsible for the experimentally observed nonmonotonic particle size dependence of the uniformity and stability of lipid coatings: Particles smaller than the hydration layer thickness (<2-3 nm) or larger than â20 nm are partially or fully enfolded by a lipid bilayer, whereas particles of the intermediate size (5-20 nm) cause membrane perforation and pore formation. In contrast, hydrophobic nanoparticles, which repel the hydration layer, tend to be encapsulated within the hydrophobic interior of the membrane and coated by the lipid monolayer. The proposed model can be further extended and applied to a wide class of systems comprising nanoparticles and nanostructured substrates interacting with lipid and surfactant bilayers and monolayers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17273-17284
Number of pages12
JournalACS Nano
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 22 Dec 2020


  • coarse-grained molecular dynamics
  • disjoining pressure
  • hydrophilic surfaces
  • implicit solvent
  • long-range forces
  • supported lipid bilayers


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