Continuous flow atomic force microscopy imaging reveals fluidity and time-dependent interactions of antimicrobial dendrimer with model lipid membranes

Tania Kjellerup Lind, Paulina Zielińska, Hanna Pauliina Wacklin, Zofia Urbańczyk-Lipkowska, Marité Cárdenas

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    31 Citations (SciVal)

    Abstract

    In this paper, an amphiphilic peptide dendrimer with potential applications against multi-resistant bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus was synthesized and studied on model cell membranes. The combination of quartz crystal microbalance and atomic force microscopy imaging during continuous flow allowed for in situ monitoring of the very initial interaction processes and membrane transformations on longer time scales. We used three different membrane compositions of low and high melting temperature phospholipids to vary the membrane properties from a single fluid phase to a pure gel phase, while crossing the phase coexistence boundaries at room temperature. The interaction mechanism of the dendrimer was found to be time-dependent and to vary remarkably with the fluidity and coexistence of liquid-solid phases in the membrane. Spherical micelle-like dendrimer-lipid aggregates were formed in the fluid-phase bilayer and led to partial solubilization of the membrane, while in gel-phase membranes, the dendrimers caused areas of local depressions followed by redeposition of flexible lipid patches. Domain coexistence led to a sequence of events initiated by the formation of a ribbon-like network and followed by membrane solubilization via spherical aggregates from the edges of bilayer patches. Our results show that the dendrimer molecules were able to destroy the membrane integrity through different mechanisms depending on the lipid phase and morphology and shed light on their antimicrobial activity. These findings could have an impact on the efficacy of the dendrimers since lipid membranes in certain bacteria have transition temperatures very close to the host body temperature.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)396-408
    Number of pages13
    JournalACS Nano
    Volume8
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan 28

    Subject classification (UKÄ)

    • Physical Chemistry

    Keywords

    • Dendrimers/chemistry
    • Membrane Fluidity
    • Membrane Lipids/chemistry
    • Microscopy, Atomic Force/methods
    • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
    • Models, Chemical

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