Phospholipids, a major component of cell membranes, act as a mechanical barrier separating the cell components from the environment surrounding them. When introduced to aqueous environments, phospholipids self-assemble into bilayer vesicles, which can self-organize themselves into planar bilayer upon interaction with free surfaces. Self-assembled phospholipid vesicles have been used as carriers for targeted delivery of drugs into cells, whereas planar phospholipid bilayers have been investigated as a model for cell membranes in toxicity studies. We study the interaction of nanomaterials with self-assembled phospholipids and other amphiphiles. Our goal is to better understand the underlying interaction mechanism between the phospholipids and various nanomaterials to develop drug delivery carriers, biosensors, and also to evaluate the nanotoxicity of novel nanomaterials.
• “Toward more free-floating model cell membranes: Method development and application to their interaction with nanoparticles”, N Yousefi, A Wargenau and N Tufenkji, ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces (2016), 8, 14339–14348.
• “Probing the interaction between nanoparticles and lipid membranes by quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring”, N Yousefi and N Tufenkji, Frontiers in Chemistry (2016), 4, 46.