Multivalency-Induced Shape Deformation of Nanoscale Lipid Vesicles: Size-Dependent Membrane Bending Effects

February 7, 2022

The size of membrane-enveloped virus particles, exosomes, and lipid vesicles strongly impacts functional properties in biological and applied contexts. Multivalent ligand–receptor interactions involving nanoparticle shape deformation are critical to such functions, yet the corresponding effect of nanoparticle size remains largely elusive. Herein, using an indirect nanoplasmonic sensing approach, we investigated how the nanoscale size properties of ligand-modified lipid vesicles affect real-time binding interactions, especially vesicle deformation processes, with a receptor-modified, cell membrane-mimicking platform. Together with theoretical analyses, our findings reveal a pronounced, size-dependent transition in the membrane bending properties of nanoscale lipid vesicles between 60 and 180 nm in diameter. For smaller vesicles, a large membrane bending energy enhanced vesicle stiffness while the osmotic pressure energy was the dominant modulating factor for larger, less stiff vesicles. These findings advance our fundamental understanding of how nanoparticle size affects multivalency-induced nanoparticle shape deformation and can provide guidance for the design of biomimetic nanoparticles with tailored nanomechanical properties.


Hyeonjin Park, Tun Naw Sut, Bo Kyeong Yoon, Vladimir P. Zhdanov, Jin Woong Kim, Nam-Joon Cho and Joshua A. Jackman

Published in

The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters


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