"Molecular Structure Influences the Stability of Membrane Penetrating Biointerfaces"

Benjamin D. Almquist and Nicholas A. Melosh: ; Nano Letters, 04/06/11.

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Abstract Image

Nanoscale patterning of hydrophobic bands on otherwise hydrophilic surfaces allows integration of inorganic structures through biological membranes, reminiscent of transmembrane proteins. Here we show that a set of innate molecular properties of the self-assembling hydrophobic band determine the resulting interface stability. Surprisingly, hydrophobicity is found to be a secondary factor with monolayer crystallinity the major determinate of interface strength. These results begin to establish guidelines for seamless bioinorganic integration of nanoscale probes with lipid membranes.