Characterization of nanoparticle-lipid membrane interactions using QCM-D
Book chapter, 2013
In vitro characterization of nanoparticles is becoming increasingly important due to the rapid development of novel nanoparticle formulations for applications in the field of nanomedicine and related areas. Commonly, nanoparticles are simply characterized with respect to their size and zeta potential, and additional in vitro characterization of nanoparticles is needed to develop useful nanoparticle structure-activity relationships. In this context it is highly interesting to characterize the interactions between nanoparticles and model interfaces, such as lipid membranes. Here, we describe a methodology to study such interactions using the quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring technique (QCM-D). In order to mimic some aspects of the native cell membrane, a supported lipid membrane is formed on the QCM-D sensor surface. Subsequently the membrane is exposed to nanoparticles, and the nanoparticle-lipid membrane interactions are monitored in real time. The outcome of such analysis provides information on the adsorption process (importantly kinetics and adsorbed amounts) as well as on the integrity of both the nanoparticles and the lipid membrane upon interaction. QCM-D analyses are suitable for screening of nanoparticle-lipid membrane interactions due to the fair throughput of the technique, which can be complemented, when needed, by additional analyses by other surface-sensitive analytical techniques.