Protein transfer to membranes upon shape deformation

Sagis, L.M.C.; Bijl, E.; Antono, L.; Ruijter, N.C.A. de; Valenberg, H.J.F. van


Red blood cells, milk fat droplets, or liposomes all have interfaces consisting of lipid membranes. These particles show significant shape deformations as a result of flow. Here we show that these shape deformations can induce adsorption of proteins to the membrane. Red blood cell deformability is an important factor in several diseases involving obstructions of the microcirculatory system, and deformation induced protein adsorption will alter the rigidity of their membranes. Deformation induced protein transfer will also affect adsorption of cells onto implant surfaces, and the performance of liposome based controlled release systems. Quantitative models describing this phenomenon in biomaterials do not exist. Using a simple quantitative model, we provide new insight in this phenomenon. We present data that show convincingly that for cells or droplets with diameters upwards of a few micrometers, shape deformations induce adsorption of proteins at their interface even at moderate flow rates.