Title

Spatial arrangements of spherical nanoparticles on lipid vesicles

Abstract

We report results of a numerical investigation of the modes of adhesion of two spherical nanoparticles (NPs) on lipid vesicles based on molecular dynamics simulations, in conjunction with the weighted histogram analysis method, of an implicit-solvent model of self-assembled membranes. Our investigation shows that the NPs exhibit a sequence of three modes of adhesion. For low adhesive interactions, the adhering NPs are apart from each other. As the adhesive interaction is increased, the NPs dimerize into in-plane dimers. As the adhesive interaction is further increased for relatively large vesicles, the NPs dimerize into tubular dimers. However, for small vesicles, the tubular dimer state is not observed. For higher values of the adhesive interaction, four endocytosis modes are observed, depending on the initial locations of the NPs on the vesicle and the relative size of the NPs with respect to that of the vesicle. For relatively large vesicles, the NPs are endocytosed individually or as a dimer. For relatively small vesicles, only one NP is endocytosed if the initial distance between the NPs is large, while the second NP remains adhered to the outer leaflet of the vesicle. However, if the initial distance between the NPs is small, one NP is endocytosed, while the other is internalized in the vesicle through a pore.

Publication Title

Journal of Chemical Physics

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