Cellular uptake of elastic nanoparticles

Phys Rev Lett. 2011 Aug 26;107(9):098101. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.107.098101. Epub 2011 Aug 22.


A fundamental understanding of cell-nanomaterial interaction is of essential importance to nanomedicine and safe applications of nanotechnology. Here we investigate the adhesive wrapping of a soft elastic vesicle by a lipid membrane. We show that there exist a maximum of five distinct wrapping phases based on the stability of full wrapping, partial wrapping, and no wrapping states. The wrapping phases depend on the vesicle size, adhesion energy, surface tension of membrane, and bending rigidity ratio between vesicle and membrane. These results are of immediate interest to the study of vesicular transport and endocytosis or phagocytosis of elastic particles into cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cells / chemistry*
  • Cells / metabolism
  • Elasticity
  • Kinetics
  • Membrane Lipids / chemistry
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry*


  • Membrane Lipids