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Translocation of Bioactive Molecules through Carbon Nanotubes Embedded in the Lipid Membrane

Sahoo, Anil Kumar and Kanchi, Subbarao and Mandal, Taraknath and Dasgupta, Chandan and Maiti, Prabal K (2018) Translocation of Bioactive Molecules through Carbon Nanotubes Embedded in the Lipid Membrane. In: ACS APPLIED MATERIALS & INTERFACES, 10 (7). pp. 6168-6179.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.7b18498


One of the major challenges of nanomedicine and gene therapy is the effective translocation of drugs and genes across cell membranes. In this study, we describe a systematic procedure that could be useful for efficient drug and gene delivery into the cell. Using fully atomistic molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, we show that molecules of various shapes, sizes, and chemistries can be spontaneously encapsulated in a single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) embedded in a 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-5n-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC) lipid bilayer, as we have exemplified with dendrimers, asiRNA, ssDNA, and ubiquitin protein. We compute the free energy gain by the molecules upon their entry inside the SWCNT channel to quantify the stability of these molecules inside the channel as well as to understand the spontaneity of the process. The free energy profiles suggest that all molecules can enter the channel without facing any energy barrier but experience a strong energy barrier (>> k(B)T) to translocate across the channel. We propose a theoretical model for the estimation of encapsulation and translocation times of the molecules. Whereas the model predicts the encapsulation time to be of the order of few nanoseconds, which match reasonably well with those obtained from the simulations, it predicts the translocation time to be astronomically large for each molecule considered in this study. This eliminates the possibility of passive diffusion of the molecules through the CNT-nanopore spanning across the membrane. To counter this, we put forward a mechanical method of ejecting the encapsulated molecules by pushing them with other free-floating SWCNTs of diameter smaller than the pore diameter. The feasibility of the proposed method is also demonstrated by performing MD simulations. The generic strategy described here should work for other molecules as well and hence could be potentially useful for drug- and gene-delivery applications.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for the article belong to AMER CHEMICAL SOC, 1155 16TH ST, NW, WASHINGTON, DC 20036 USA
Department/Centre: Division of Physical & Mathematical Sciences > Physics
Depositing User: Id for Latest eprints
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2018 18:28
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2018 18:28
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/59243

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