Aggregation of nanoparticles on one and two-component bilayer membranes

David Cheung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
185 Downloads (Pure)


Using dissipative particle dynamics simulations the aggregation of nanoparticles on single and two-component bilayers is investigated. For a uniform bilayer the aggregation of nanoparticles depends strongly on the location of the particles in the bilayer; particles residing on the bilayer exterior cluster strongly under the influence of bilayer-mediated interactions, whereas the interaction between the particles in the bilayer interior is significantly weaker leading to more loosely bound, dynamic aggregates. The aggregation of nanoparticles on two-component bilayers composed of immiscible components changes due to competition between nanoparticle clustering and their adsorption on the boundary between the bilayer components. This reduces the size of the nanoparticle clusters formed on the bilayer exterior, with the clusters adhering onto the boundary between the bilayer components. Due to their weaker attraction nanoparticles in the interior of a mixed bilayer no longer aggregate and instead form strings along the boundary between the two bilayer components. Nanoparticles with an affinity to one bilayer component nucleate small domains of their favoured component around themselves. For asymmetric mixtures this leads to a notable change in the aggregation behaviour of the nanoparticles.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 3 Nov 2014


  • nanoparticles
  • bilayer membrances
  • aggregation behaviour


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