Eric L. Kendall, Emily Mills, Juewen Liu, Xingmao Jiang, C. Jeffrey Brinker and Atul N. Parikh Soft Matter 6, 2628-2632, 2010
We show that a coordinated interplay between mesoscale colloidal interactions and molecular-scale membrane perturbations affords a novel material platform to controllably recapitulate membrane interactions, such as during fusion and vesicle-based drug delivery. Specifically, a simple modulation of ionic strength is used to alter electrostatically determined colloidal interactions, producing conditions for pre-fusion contact between two independent colloidal and/or planar supported lipid bilayers. The same process also perturbs the membrane at the molecular level, reproducing conditions needed for subsequent fusion steps. We envisage that this platform will yield insights relevant to optimal design and implementation of lipid-coated inorganic constructs used for therapeutic drug delivery and sensing.