Probing the Interaction of Dielectric Nanoparticles with Supported Lipid Membrane Coatings on Nanoplasmonic Arrays

June 23, 2017

The integration of supported lipid membranes with surface-based nanoplasmonic arrays provides a powerful sensing approach to investigate biointerfacial phenomena at membrane interfaces. While a growing number of lipid vesicles, protein, and nucleic acid systems have been explored with nanoplasmonic sensors, there has been only very limited investigation of the interactions between solution-phase nanomaterials and supported lipid membranes. Herein, we established a surface-based localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) sensing platform for probing the interaction of dielectric nanoparticles with supported lipid bilayer (SLB)-coated, plasmonic nanodisk arrays. A key emphasis was placed on controlling membrane functionality by tuning the membrane surface charge vis-à-vis lipid composition. The optical sensing properties of the bare and SLB-coated sensor surfaces were quantitatively compared, and provided an experimental approach to evaluate nanoparticle–membrane interactions across different SLB platforms. While the interaction of negatively-charged silica nanoparticles (SiNPs) with a zwitterionic SLB resulted in monotonic adsorption, a stronger interaction with a positively-charged SLB resulted in adsorption and lipid transfer from the SLB to the SiNP surface, in turn influencing the LSPR measurement responses based on the changing spatial proximity of transferred lipids relative to the sensor surface. Precoating SiNPs with bovine serum albumin (BSA) suppressed lipid transfer, resulting in monotonic adsorption onto both zwitterionic and positively-charged SLBs. Collectively, our findings contribute a quantitative understanding of how supported lipid membrane coatings influence the sensing performance of nanoplasmonic arrays, and demonstrate how the high surface sensitivity of nanoplasmonic sensors is well-suited for detecting the complex interactions between nanoparticles and lipid membranes.


Abdul Rahim Ferhan, Gamaliel Junren Ma, Joshua A. Jackman, Tun Naw Sut, Jae Hyeon Park and Nam-Joon Cho

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