A new approach to analyse effects of nanoparticles on lipid vesicles

Zupanc J, Valant J, Drobne D, Kralj-Iglič V, Iglič A
[ pdf ] [ site ] International Journal of Biomedical Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, 2010

Manufactured nanoparticles are potentially capable of inducing defects in lipid membranes. The effects of nanoparticles on cell membranes are one of the key issues in nanomedicine, nanotoxicology, food and pharmaceutical application of products of nanomaterials and others. Our aim is to demonstrate the nanoparticle – lipid vesicle interactions and to develop a controllable experimental setup for data acquisition. We studied interactions between nanoparticles (C60) and lipid vesicles (POPC), using ZnCl2 as a positive control. Light microscopy computer aided image segmentation was developed and population differences among vesicles incubated in different media were assessed. Data obtained by statistical image analysis methods revealed that nanoparticles (C60) caused changes in vesicle size distribution in the population of lipid vesicles as well as a burst of vesicles in time and in a concentration gradient. No significant changes in shape of vesicles were recorded. The advantage of the experimental set up presented here is that it employs statistical image analysis methods and direct microscopy observation of large populations of lipid vesicles. We discuss the applicability of this in vitro approach in analysing the effects of nanoparticles on simplified biological membranes.