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A computational analysis of the insertion of carbon nanotubes into cellular membranes

Paper ID Volume ID Publish Year Pages File Format Full-Text
7659 559 2011 7 PDF Available
Title
A computational analysis of the insertion of carbon nanotubes into cellular membranes
Abstract

Carbon nanotubes have been proposed to serve as nano-vehicles to deliver genetic or therapeutic material into the interior of cells because of their capacity to cross the cell membrane. A detailed picture of the molecular mode of action of such a delivery is, however, difficult to obtain because of the concealing effects of the cell membrane. Here we report a systematic computational study of membrane insertion of individual carbon nanotubes and carbon nanotube bundles using two entirely different and unrelated techniques. First a static scan of the environmental free energy is carried out based on a membrane mimicry approach and different insertion geometries are assessed. Then the dynamics is investigated with a coarse-grained approach that was previously used in the study of the integration dynamics of nanoparticles into the bilayer. The results of both models point, for unfunctionalized carbon nanotubes, at a preference for the horizontal orientation inside the internal hydrophobic layer of the cell membrane. Finally, the energetics of the formation of bundles of carbon nanotubes is studied. The cellular membrane promotes aggregation of carbon nanotubes in its hydrophobic core and modifies the structural stability of the bundles.

Keywords
Carbon nanotubes; Membrane insertion; Membrane mimicry; Dissipative particle dynamics
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A computational analysis of the insertion of carbon nanotubes into cellular membranes
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Publisher
Database: Elsevier - ScienceDirect
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 32, Issue 29, October 2011, Pages 7079–7085
Authors
, , , , , , ,
Subjects
Physical Sciences and Engineering Chemical Engineering Bioengineering
Get Full-Text Now
Don't Miss Today's Special Offer
Price was $35.95
You save - $31
Price after discount Only $4.95
100% Money Back Guarantee
Full-text PDF Download
Online Support
Any Questions? feel free to contact us