Lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) are garnering significant interest as smart, multi-functional drug delivery vehicles. In order to understand their interactions, especially at the surface of the LNP and with their cargo, the structure of the LNP needs to be characterised. This is challenging due to their size, intrinsic disorder and fast dynamics.
This project aims to address these challenges through a combination of scattering techniques, including SAXS, SANS, neutron reflectometry and neutron spin echo (NSE), within two lipid systems. Specifically, this will be used to develop an understanding of the LNP systems with regards to lipid positions within LNPs, effect of different components (and their ratios) on LNP structure and interactions with cargo.
The first investigated system aims to characterise the effect of the inclusion of an ionisable lipid on a lipid system. This aims to use simpler systems containing this lipid to build understanding of its effect in various environments, which can then be applied to clinically relevant, complex multi-component systems. The second investigated system aims to build upon previous research on the sponge phase, both with regards to modelling of this phase and encapsulation of biomolecules.
This project will be taking place as part of a larger project, which aims to combine scattering data (SANS, SAXS) to build and develop novel coarse grained computational approaches for the determination of the structure of complex, therapeutically relevant lipid nanoparticles. This will also be interesting for the bulk sponge phase system, as the inherent disorder of the system makes it difficult obtain a representative model on the length scale that is currently possible with computer simulation.
Gilbert, Jennifer LU ; Valldeperas Badell, Maria LU ; Dhayal, Surender K. ; Barauskas, Justas LU ; Dicko, Cedric LU and Nylander, Tommy LU (2019) In Nanoscale 11(44). p.21291-21301