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SCIENTIFIC HIGHLIGHTS

Stable nanovesicles formed by intrinsically planar bilayers
06 January 2023
Hypothesis
Quatsome nanovesicles, formed through the self-assembly of cholesterol (CHOL) and cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) in water, have shown long-term stability in terms of size and morphology, while at the same time exhibiting high CHOL-CTAB intermolecular binding energies. We hypothesize that CHOL/CTAB quatsomes are indeed thermodynamically stable nanovesicles, and investigate the mechanism underlying their formation.
 Experiments
A systematic study was performed to determine whether CHOL/CTAB quatsomes satisfy the experimental requisites of thermodynamically stable vesicles. Coarse-grain molecular dynamics simulations were used to investigate the molecular organization in the vesicle membrane, and the characteristics of the simulated vesicle were corroborated with experimental data obtained by cryo–electron microscopy, small- and wide-angle X-ray scattering, and multi-angle static light scattering.

Findings
CHOL/CTAB quatsomes fulfill the requisites of thermodynamically stable nanovesicles, but they do not exhibit the classical membrane curvature induced by a composition asymmetry between the bilayer leaflets, like catanionic nanovesicles. Instead, CHOL/CTAB quatsomes are formed through the association of intrinsically planar bilayers in a faceted vesicle with defects, indicating that distortions in the organization and orientation of molecules can play a major role in the formation of thermodynamically stable nanovesicles.
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M4HTH Smart Nanomedicine

Stable nanovesicles formed by intrinsically planar bilayers


Mariana Köberb, Sílvia Illa-Tuseta, LidiaFerrer-Tasies, Evelyn Moreno-Calvo, Witold I. Tatkiewicz, Natascia Grimaldi, David Piña, Alejandro Pérez Pérez, Vega Lloveras, JoséVidal-Gancedo, Donatella Bulone, Imma Ratera, Jan Skov Pedersen, Dganit Danino, Jaume Veciana, Jordi Faraudo, Nora Ventosa

Journal of Colloid and Interface Science Volume 631, Part A, February 2023, Pages 202-211

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcis.2022.10.104