PhD Scientific Days 2023

Budapest, 22-23 June 2023

Translational Medicine III.

Nanomechanical comparison of liposomes and enveloped viruses

Sziklai Dominik
Semmelweis University, Department of Biophysics and Radiation Biology

Text of the abstract

Liposomes and enveloped viruses are nanoscale structures that share several similarities between their mechanical properties. They both consist of a lipid bilayer membrane that encloses a fluid-filled interior. Despite their similarities, there are notable differences in their mechanical behaviors that are critical for their biological functions. Our laboratory is conducting experiments with both type of structures. The aim of this presentation is to show some of our experimental results and highlight the significance and relevance of the topic.
In this study, we investigated the nanomechanics of drug carrying liposomes and enveloped viruses (SARS CoV-19 variants) using a combination of experimental and computational methods. In order to contextualize our findings and understand their significance, we conducted a thorough review of the current scientific literature and compared our results with previous studies in the field.
We used atomic force microscopy (AFM) to extract the mechanical properties of individual particles with both contact and non-contact measurement techniques. The raw images are then algorithmically processed with a computer.
From the acquired and analyzed individual force curves and AFM images we found neither significant differences between the mechanical properties nor between size distributions of the two examined drug carrying liposome types. There has been significant differences between SARS CoV-19 variants regarding both their size and nanomechanics.
AFM validated the size measurements of the liposomes which was previously done with dynamic light scattering, this shows the usefulness of AFM in liposome research. Regarding the the coronavirus variants, we hypothesize that there can be a connection between the transmissibility, effectivity of and the mechanical properties of the SARS Cov-19 variants.