Aggregation of nanoparticles on one and two-component bilayer membranes

Cheung, David (2014) Aggregation of nanoparticles on one and two-component bilayer membranes. Journal of Chemical Physics. ISSN 0021-9606 (In Press) (

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Using dissipative particle dynamics simulations the aggregation of nanoparticles on single and two-component bilayers is investigated. For a uniform bilayer the aggregation of nanoparticles depends strongly on the location of the particles in the bilayer; particles residing on the bilayer exterior cluster strongly under the influence of bilayer-mediated interactions, whereas the interaction between the particles in the bilayer interior is significantly weaker leading to more loosely bound, dynamic aggregates. The aggregation of nanoparticles on two-component bilayers composed of immiscible components changes due to competition between nanoparticle clustering and their adsorption on the boundary between the bilayer components. This reduces the size of the nanoparticle clusters formed on the bilayer exterior, with the clusters adhering onto the boundary between the bilayer components. Due to their weaker attraction nanoparticles in the interior of a mixed bilayer no longer aggregate and instead form strings along the boundary between the two bilayer components. Nanoparticles with an affinity to one bilayer component nucleate small domains of their favoured component around themselves. For asymmetric mixtures this leads to a notable change in the aggregation behaviour of the nanoparticles.