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  • New progress in mechanics of cellular uptake of nanoparticles
    Author:   | Date:2014-11-18   | Click Rate:    | 【Close

    New progress in mechanics of cellular uptake of nanoparticles

    Recently, the researchers from the State Key Laboratory of Nonlinear Mechanics, Institute of Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (PhD candidate, Jiuling Wang and Associate Professor Xinghua Shi) and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Assistant Professor Haimin Yao) published their work on Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, a leading journal in solid mechanics.

    Interaction of nanoparticles (NPs) with cell membrane is a crucial issue in studying drug delivery, photodynamic therapy system and cytotoxicity. Single NP with relatively small size cannot be fully wrapped by the cell membrane, which prohibits its uptake. One feasible way is cooperative entry, i.e., recruiting and assembling multiple small NPs to form a larger NP cluster to enter into a cell.

    The researchers conducted theoretical analysis on the cooperative entry of multiple NPs. They investigated how the NPs’ size, shape, interval and NP/cell interfacial binding energy influence the feasibility of entry. Interestingly they found that the cooperative entry of oblate ellipsoidal NPs can get larger energy compensation than individual ones as well as spherical ones. Thus the cooperative entry mode is more feasible. They also proposed that soft NPs have preference in cooperative entry of the cell. These works can be used to actively design and transfer NPs in applications such as drug delivery as well as to understand the shape effect on toxic mechanism of ellipsoidal NPs.

    This study was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) (Grant 11272327 and 11023001). More details can be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jmps.2014.09.006 (Jiuling Wang, Haimin Yao, Xinghua Shi, Cooperative entry of nanoparticles into the cell, Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, 73, 151-165 (2014)).

    Figure. Schematic show the model and the calculated phase diagram with free energy controlled by the parameters of separation and vesicle size.

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