• Computational Studies of Lipid-Wrapped Gold Nanoparticle Transport Through Model Lung Surfactant Monolayers

      Hossain, S.I.; Gandhi, N.S.; Hughes, Zak E.; Saha, S.C. (2021-02-02)
      Colloidal nanoparticles, such as gold nanoparticles (AuNPs), are promising materials for the delivery of hydrophilic drugs via the pulmonary route. The inhaled nanoparticle drug carriers primarily deposit in lung alveoli and interact with the alveolar surface known as lung surfactants. Therefore, it is vital to understand the interactions of nanocarriers with the surfactant layer. To understand the interactions at the molecular level, here we simulated model lung surfactant monolayers with phospholipid (PL)-wrapped AuNPs at the vacuum-water interface using coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations. The PL-wrapped AuNPs quickly adsorbed into the surfactant layer, altered the structural properties of the monolayer, and at high concentrations initiated the compressed monolayer to collapse/buckle. Among the surfactant monolayer lipid components, cholesterol adsorbed to the AuNPs preferentially over PL species. The position of the adsorbed PL-AuNPs within the monolayer, and subsequent monolayer perturbation, vary depending on the monolayer phase, monolayer composition, and species of PL used as a ligand. Information provided by these molecular dynamic simulations helps to rationalize why some colloidal nanoparticles work better as nanocarriers than others and aid the design of new ones, to avoid biological toxicity and improve efficacy for pulmonary drug delivery.
    • Molecular insights on the interference of simplified lung surfactant models by gold nanoparticle pollutants

      Hossain, S.I.; Gandhi, N.S.; Hughes, Zak E.; Gu, Y.T.; Saha, S.C. (2019-08-01)
      Inhaled nanoparticles (NPs) are experienced by the first biological barrier inside the alveolus known as lung surfactant (LS), a surface tension reducing agent, consisting of phospholipids and proteins in the form of the monolayer at the air-water interface. The monolayer surface tension is continuously regulated by the alveolus compression and expansion and protects the alveoli from collapsing. Inhaled NPs can reach deep into the lungs and interfere with the biophysical properties of the lung components. The interaction mechanisms of bare gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) with the LS monolayer and the consequences of the interactions on lung function are not well understood. Coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations were carried out to elucidate the interactions of AuNPs with simplified LS monolayers at the nanoscale. It was observed that the interactions of AuNPs and LS components deform the monolayer structure, change the biophysical properties of LS and create pores in the monolayer, which all interfere with the normal lungs function. The results also indicate that AuNP concentrations >0.1 mol% (of AuNPs/lipids) hinder the lowering of the LS surface tension, a prerequisite of the normal breathing process. Overall, these findings could help to identify the possible consequences of airborne NPs inhalation and their contribution to the potential development of various lung diseases.
    • The role of SP-B1-25 peptides in lung surfactant monolayers exposed to gold nanoparticles

      Hossain, S.I.; Gandhi, N.S.; Hughes, Zak E.; Saha, S.C. (2020-07)
      Lung surfactant (LS) monolayers that continuously expand and compress during breathing cycles, act as the first line barrier for inhaled nanoparticles. It is known that nanoparticles which adsorb to the surface of the surfactant layer facilitate the rearrangement of lipids and peptides at various stages of the breathing cycle. However, the structural mechanisms for this ability of the lipid rearrangement are not yet fully understood. Coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations are performed to investigate the role of surfactant protein B (SP-B) segments (SP-B1–25) in modulating the biophysical properties of the surfactant monolayer in the presence of polydisperse gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) at different concentrations. Herein, we observe that the AuNPs significantly alter the inherent structural and dynamical properties of the monolayer and its components in three different breathing states. When adsorbed into the monolayer, the AuNPs inhibit the ability of the monolayer to recover its surface tension and other properties. The presence of SP-B1–25 in the monolayer accelerates the diffusion of the monolayer phospholipids, contrarily to the role of AuNPs on phospholipid diffusion. Also, the AuNPs and the peptides in the monolayer significantly increase their agglomeration in the presence of one another. Overall, the simulations predict that the presence of polydisperse AuNPs hampers the stability and biophysical functions of the LS in contrast to the role of the peptide. This study provides a clear view of the hydrophobic peptide role in the LS monolayer at the interface along with the interactions and the translocation of AuNPs that could have a significant impact to assess the NPs inhalation.