Nanoparticle interaction with biological membranes: Does nanotechnology present a janus face?

Pascale R. Leroueil, Seungpyo Hong, Almut Mecke, James R. Baker, Bradford G. Orr, Mark M.Banaszak Holl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

416 Citations (Scopus)


Polycationic organic nanoparticles are shown to disrupt model biological membranes and living cell membranes at nanomolar concentrations. The degree of disruption is shown to be related to nanoparticle size and charge, as well as to the phase-fluid, liquid crystalline, or gel-of the biological membrane. Disruption events on model membranes have been directly imaged using scanning probe microsopy, whereas disruption events on living cells have been analyzed using cytosolic enzyme leakage assays, dye diffusion assays, and fluorescence microscopy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-342
Number of pages8
JournalAccounts of Chemical Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2007
Externally publishedYes

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