Nanoparticle-induced surface reconstruction of phospholipid membranes

Bo Wang, Liangfang Zhang, Chul Bae Sung, Steve Granick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The nonspecific adsorption of charged nanoparticles onto single-component phospholipid bilayers bearing phosphocholine headgroups is shown, from fluorescence and calorimetry experiments, to cause surface reconstruction at the points where nanoparticles adsorb. Nanoparticles of negative charge induce local gelation in otherwise fluid bilayers; nanoparticles of positive charge induce otherwise gelled membranes to fluidize locally. Through this mechanism, the phase state deviates from the nominal phase transition temperature by tens of degrees. This work generalizes the notions of environmentally induced surface reconstruction, prominent in metals and semiconductors. Bearing in mind that chemical composition in these single-component lipid bilayers is the same everywhere, this offers a mechanism to generate patchy functional properties in phospholipid membranes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18171-18175
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number47
StatePublished - Nov 25 2008


  • Adsorption
  • Fluorescence
  • Phase transition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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