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Fusion dynamics of cubosome nanocarriers with model cell membranes

Abstract: Drug delivery with nanocarriers relies on the interaction of individual nanocarriers with the cell surface. For lipid-based NCs, this interaction uniquely involves a process of membrane fusion between the lipid bilayer that makes up the NC and the cell membrane. Cubosomes have emerged as promising fusogenic NCs, however their individual interactions had not yet been directly observed due to difficulties in achieving adequate resolution or disentangling multiple interactions with common characterization techniques. Moreover, many studies on these interactions have been performed under static conditions which may not mimic the actual transport of NCs. Herein we have observed fusion of lipid cubosome NCs with lipid bilayers under flow. Total internal reflection microscopy has allowed visualisation of the fusion event which was sensitive to the lipid compositions and rationalized by lipid diffusion. The fusion event in supported lipid bilayers has been compared with those in cells, revealing a distinct similarity in kinetics.

 

Nature Communications volume 10, Article number: 4492 (2019)

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