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Soft Nanomaterial from Phospholipids

V.A. Seredyuk, J. Bian and F.M. Menger
Emory University, US

Keywords:
nanoparticles, self-assembly, vesicles, cross-linking, soft materials

Abstract:
A compound was synthesized in which a vesicle-binding unit (a cholesterol derivative) is attached by a spacer to a maleimide group. When the compound is incorporated into lipid bilayers, exposed to dithiothreitol, and stirred rapidly, lipid vesicles and bilayer fragments are “cross-linked” to form a thick, white, slow-flowing cream. This cream is composed of densely packed spherical particles with a blistered surface texture. Phase-contrast and high-resolution scanning electron microscopy demonstrate that these particles are water-filled and easily deformed with a shell thickness of 100 nm (corresponding to about 25 bilayers). Exposure of the particles to NaIO4 and sub-freezing temperatures causes disintegration and particle fission, respectively. Being hollow, the particle morphology offers the possibility of a useful delivery system with a high capture volume.

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