title: Cytotoxicity of boron nitride nanosheet to lipid membranes: insights from molecular dynamics simulation studies

Yonghui Zhang (TALK)

institution: City University of HongKong


Boron nitride nanosheet (BNNS) is a novel nanomaterial with great potential in biomedical applications. Understanding how it interacts with bio-systems, such as cell membrane, is fundamentally essential. Here we report that BNNS could extract phospholipids from six types of lipid bilayer and affects the ordering of lipid molecules. The structural changes in lipid membranes significantly increase the bending moduli of the membrane and decrease the diffusivity of lipid molecules. These changes should be further taken into account for the development of nanocarrier and antibiotics using two-dimensional materials. Our study also revealed that BNNS disrupts the liquid disordered lipid bilayers much more easily compared to the liquid ordered phases using molecular dynamic simulations. Potential of mean force profiles calculated from umbrella sampling further explain this adsorption preference. When the BNNS is placed at the boundary of the liquid ordered and liquid disordered nanodomains, the liquid ordered domains become much easier to be disrupted due to the present of adjacent liquid disordered domain. Our findings provide new insights into the cytotoxicity of BNNS interacting with cellular membranes.