New progress in mechanics of
cellular uptake of nanoparticles
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.
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.
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.
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)).
Schematic show the model and the calculated phase diagram with free
energy controlled by the parameters of separation and vesicle size.