Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticle Interaction with Lipid Bilayers
TiO2 is a transition metal oxide and finds applications in pigments, additives, catalysts and construction materials. However, some experimental studies have uncovered the potential cytotoxic effects of transition metal oxide nanoparticles which include changes in cell morphology, mitochondrial functions, membrane leakage, necrosis and apoptosis. With the extensive use of TiO2 nanoparticles in a wide array of applications it is crucial to understand their potential cytotoxic effect to design them for safe applications. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations can help shed light on the nature of the interaction when the metal oxide nanoparticle first encounters the cell membrane. Through atomistic MD study, we assess the effect of the TiO2 nanoparticle on the structural, mechanical and dynamical properties of neutral DOPC and charged DOPG bilayers. These preliminary studies pave the way for a more detailed study into the differential interactions of various other metal oxide nanoparticles with mixed lipid bilayers.