• FORMATION, DYNAMICS AND CHARACTERIZATION OF SUPPORTED LIPID BILAYERS ON SiO2 NANOPARTICLES

      Wunder, Stephanie L.; Strongin, Daniel R.; Matsika, Spiridoula; Ilies, Marc A. (Temple University. Libraries, 2012)
      This work is devoted to understanding the formation of supported lipid bilayers (SLBs) on curved surfaces as a function of lipid properties such as headgroup charge/charge density and alkyl chain length, and nanoparticle properties such as size and surface characteristics. In particular, the formation of SLBs on curved surfaces was studied by varying the size of the underlying substrate SiO2 nanoparticles with size range from 5-100 nm. Curvature-dependent shift in the phase transition behavior of these supported lipid bilayers was observed for the first time. We found that the phase transition temperature, Tm of the SLBs first decreased with decreasing the size of the underlying support, reached a minimum, and then increased when the size of the particles became comparable with the dimensions of the lipid bilayer thickness; the Tm was above that of the multilamellar vesicles (MLVs) of the same lipids. The increase in Tm indicated a stiffening of the supported bilayer, which was confirmed by Raman spectroscopic data. Moreover, Raman data showed better lipid packing and increased lateral order and trans conformation for the SLBs with increasing the curvature of the underlying support and decrease of the gauche kinks for the terminal methyl groups at the center of the bilayer. These results were consistent with a model in which the high free volume and increased outer headgroup spacing of lipids on highly curved surfaces induced interdigitation in the supported lipids. These results also support the symmetric lipid exchange studies of the SLBs as a function of the curvature, which was found to be slower on surfaces with higher curvature. Further, the effect of surface properties on the formation of SLBs was studied by changing the silanol density on the surface of SiO2 via thermal/chemical treatment and monitoring fusion of zwitterionic lipids onto silica (SiO2) nanoparticles. Our findings showed that the formation of SLBs was faster on the surfaces with lower silanol density and concomitantly less bound water compared to surfaces with higher silanol density and more bound water. Since the two SiO2 nanoparticles were similar in other respects, in particular their size and charge (ionization), as determined by zeta potential measurements, differences in electrostatic interactions between the neutral DMPC and SiO2 could not account for the difference. Therefore the slower rate of SLB formation of DMPC onto SiO2 nanoparticles with higher silanol densities and more bound water was attributed to greater hydration repulsion of the more hydrated nanoparticles. Lastly, we have investigated the effect and modulation of the surface charge of vesicles on the formation of SLBs by using different ratios of zwitterionic and cationic DMPC/DMTAP lipids. Through these studies we discovered a procedure by which assemblies of supported lipid bilayer nanoparticles, composed of DMPC/DMTAP (50/50) lipids on SiO2, can be collected and released from bilayer sacks as a function of the phase transition of these lipids. The lipids in these sacks and SLBs could be exchanged by lipids with lower Tm via lipid transfer.