Protein mimetic nanoparticles
Author(s)Tahir, Mukarram Ahmad.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Materials Science and Engineering.
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Gold nanoparticles with amphiphilic surface functionalization have been shown to spontaneously fuse with lipid bilayers through a non-endocytic mechanism that generates minimal membrane perturbation. The membrane translocation capability of these nanoparticles makes them attractive candidates for engineering clinical applications that operate on a single-cell resolution. In particular, the physiochemical similarity between these nanoparticles and membrane-bound and free-circulating proteins suggests a possibility for designing nanostructures that can function as synthetic alternatives to proteins. In this thesis, we demonstrate how molecular simulation techniques have allowed us to tackle this engineering challenge and develop nanoparticles that can modulate fusion between lipid membranes, transport hydrophobic small molecules to lipid-bound compartments, and modify the permeability of lipid membranes. These are concrete realizations of nanoparticles functioning as protein mimics, and unlock new avenues of research on how nanomaterials can be designed from first principles to perform targeted functions in biological systems.
Thesis: Ph. D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, 2019Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages -140).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Materials Science and Engineering.